The Browns' quarterback saga continues.
After head coach Mike Pettine refused to name a starting quarterback today for strategic purposes, reports have surfaced that the team will start Johnny Manziel over Josh McCown on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
So much for a competitive advantage.
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot first reported the news.
Browns are expected to start Johnny Manziel vs Pittsburgh on Sunday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 13, 2015
As Pettine stated in his press conference today, however, the team will not officially name a starter until gameday. According to Pettine, waiting to name a starter puts the Steelers at a disadvantage.
"If you’re game planning as to whether or not you need to – let’s just say you’re going against a guy that could potentially scramble and you’re going to have calls up that are or as far as setting your plan and having you’re a plan and knowing who it’s going to be and being able to review that on a Saturday night," Pettine said. "Now, you can force a defense, the mindset to dovetail a little bit – ‘Here’s Plan A. Here’s Plan B’ – without saying it’s definitely going to be this."
Josh McCown remained limited in practice on Friday and was listed as questionable on the official injury report released today. The 36-year-old signalcaller is still rehabbing from a rib injury suffered two weeks ago against the Cardinals.
"He’s improved. I can’t put an amount on it, but he’s steadily improved through the week," Pettine said.
Manziel started in place of McCown last Thursday against the Bengals. The second-year quarterback completed 15-of-33 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown. On the season, Manziel is 43-of-83 for 561 yards, four touchdowns, and one intereception.
Manziel did not play against the Steelers last season. McCown has also never played a snap against the Steelers.