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Johnny Manziel Demoted to Third-String, Josh McCown to Start Against Ravens

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after we asked whether the Cleveland Browns might consider benching QB Johnny Manziel for his actions over the weekend, the Browns released a statement (from head coach Mike Pettine) confirming that Manziel has been sent to third string and that QB Josh McCown will be back under center this Monday when the team resumes action against the Baltimore Ravens:

"Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens. I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.

Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward."

Although it is possible that the team will re-evaluate their position after the Ravens game, it doesn't seem likely that that will happen.

This is as clear of a message as possible that the Browns can send toward Manziel that it's not just the football side of things that indicates progress -- you have to represent the organization in a positive light, especially as the starting quarterback.

The reaction inside the locker room?