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Browns may use Manziel in a specialty package


For a guy who lived through the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow debacle in New York, Browns coach Mike Pettine doesn’t seem to be concerned about his quarterback competition in Cleveland becoming a potential two-man show.  In fact, it looks like that’s what Pettine wants.

During his interview with Tony Grossi of, Pettine said that the team is considering using Manziel as a Wildcat-style change-of-pace in his rookie year.

We’ve already talked about it,” Pettine said regarding the possibility of using both Manziel and Brian Hoyer in the same game.
“We’ve already installed elements of it in the spring.  We ran some of the zone-read stuff in practice and Kyle [Shanahan] incorporated some of the mobile quarterback elements of what he did in Washington.  We’re still going to go back to the beginning in pads, but as we get going, some of the stuff that’s more game-plan-specific that we don’t want to show, we might work on in our walk-throughs as opposed to a public practice.”

Pettine wisely didn’t point to the Sanchez-Tebow experiment as justification for doing it.

“That’s how Colin Kaepernick got his start in the NFL, as a package quarterback,” Pettine said of the former 49ers backup.  “On the other side of the ball, I’ve seen that give defenses some trouble.  I think there’s positives and negatives to it.  You’re taking your starter off the field.  You have his rhythm and continuity to take into account, but at the same time defensively you’re now forcing a team to basically come up with two game plans.  I mean, there are pluses and minuses to it and it’s something I’m sure will be discussed at some point.”

In theory, the Jets wanted Tebow because of the pressure that preparing for two quarterbacks puts on a defense.  And if former offensive coordinator Tony Sporano had any faith at all in Tebow, the Jets may have actually used him.

The Jets and Pettine nevertheless got a first-hand look at the challenge of dealing with two quarterbacks in September 2012, when Kaepernick rushed five time for 50 yards and a touchdown coming off the bench and showing the Jets how to properly employ a two-quarterback system.

If the Browns could pull it off, the dilution of the ability of the opposing defense to fully prepare for each guy could help both guys thrive.  The only downside is that, as Manziel has more and more success, more and more fans will be clamoring for him to be something other than a part-time player.

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55 Responses to “Browns may use Manziel in a specialty package”
  1. dethsupport says: Jul 24, 2014 6:52 PM


  2. naes says: Jul 24, 2014 6:57 PM

    That’s an awful high pick to use for a gimmick player.

  3. hakunamangata says: Jul 24, 2014 6:58 PM

    But how does this relate to Ray Rice?

  4. badmoonrison says: Jul 24, 2014 6:58 PM

    More proof he’s Tebow 2.0

  5. mogogo1 says: Jul 24, 2014 7:04 PM

    Kills two birds with one stone: Not only does it take Manziel’s concentration off learning the regular offense but steals practice time from Hoyer as they work on Manziel’s plays.

  6. joeflaccoallday says: Jul 24, 2014 7:04 PM

    Yeah just start him. Hoyer is a really good backup put in a tough situation. Manziel thrived when everyone was saying his offseason was crazy so I won’t be suprised if he gets named the starter.

  7. Spoonthis says: Jul 24, 2014 7:05 PM

    Having your QB run the ball a bunch always goes well. Just ask Brian Hoyer.

  8. smartstickhotness says: Jul 24, 2014 7:08 PM

    What a terrible idea. Cleveland! YEAH!

  9. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 24, 2014 7:08 PM

    They’re just trying to control Manziel’s ego. He will be the starter.

  10. ctiggs says: Jul 24, 2014 7:11 PM

    Don’t compare the greatness of kaepernick to this future bust #nobodyhasitbetter

  11. drakescounsellor says: Jul 24, 2014 7:11 PM

    Manziel we support you hope you win the job and be successfull

  12. hehatemyfootballteam says: Jul 24, 2014 7:12 PM

    This is the best idea since betamax

  13. ccc23454 says: Jul 24, 2014 7:14 PM

    I hope he doesn’t do a Farve and send out a pic of his specialty package

  14. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Jul 24, 2014 7:37 PM

    22nd overall pick for an extra point holder.

  15. wolfiereasonedlife says: Jul 24, 2014 7:46 PM

    Great a 22cnd pick for a last call and happy hour package QB.

  16. jackericsson says: Jul 24, 2014 7:48 PM

    And in other news, Steeler D practicing how to make specialty pretzels in opening game vs clowns. For reference, google colt McCoy meets silverback James Harrison!

  17. rickditka says: Jul 24, 2014 7:51 PM

    Not drafting Manziel might be Jerry Jones best work yet.

  18. grogansheroes says: Jul 24, 2014 7:56 PM

    I think the package involves getting coffee for the coaching staff.

  19. 2difshoe says: Jul 24, 2014 8:05 PM

    Or did they mean to say, Manziel’s package is Brown…well isn’t that special(ty).

  20. leatherface2012 says: Jul 24, 2014 8:27 PM

    special package? like in the bathroom with the rolled up 20?

  21. clashpoint says: Jul 24, 2014 8:30 PM

    Well to be honest, much of what I’ve seen so far about his “specialties” I find inappropriate on a football field, much less during a game.

  22. pftcoachmen says: Jul 24, 2014 8:31 PM

    He’s Joe Webb!

  23. nite2al says: Jul 24, 2014 8:48 PM

    Johnny is a specialty package!

  24. bucsorbust says: Jul 24, 2014 8:51 PM

    Specialty package? Like what? Dollar bill rolling seminar for fans; how to talk on a money phone? Hmmm…endless possibilities for using Johnny.

  25. thetooloftools says: Jul 24, 2014 8:56 PM

    JUST WIN !

  26. qdog112 says: Jul 24, 2014 9:11 PM

    And that is why right after the draft, I labeled him Johnny Wildcat.

    Manziel must be thinking, this is getting real. I may really have to play. After all his hard work and study, I’m sure he’s ready.

  27. brownsfandrinkingmakersmark says: Jul 24, 2014 9:16 PM

    I fear that if the Browns need 2 quarterbacks, that means they have none. Oh boy. Back to my Maker’s…

  28. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 24, 2014 9:33 PM

    Clueless owner, clueless GM, clueless HC

  29. ghjjf says: Jul 24, 2014 9:34 PM

    Johnny Backup parties too much to be able to learn the full play book so they came up with this “special package” so he can concentrate on learning 2-3 plays whenever he’s not hung over.

  30. bengalskuta82 says: Jul 24, 2014 9:36 PM

    This like another Tebowmania show.
    They wasted their pick on this Johnny kid
    Good Luck Clowns

  31. mrfrostyj says: Jul 24, 2014 9:37 PM

    If I recall correctly the last time the Browns did something similar was actually pretty successful with Josh Cribbs and Seneca Wallace and it was a defensive minded head coach who implemented that as well.

    I honestly don’t understand why more teams don’t implement systems like this. Especially teams who’s franchise QB’s tend to fade as the season goes (Dallas and Romo come to mind immediately) Just like teams have a 3rd down running back they should have an option QB. Guys like Vince Young and Tim Tebow would still be in the league and probably thrive if they did. Jacksonville needs to be taking notes right now instead of having Denard Robinson wasting away.

    The more this guy talks the more Mike Pettine impresses me and the more I hope he succeeds. Most coaches spend the offseason with their new team talking about how he’s going to make everyone do things his way. Pettines done nothing but talk about how he’s preparing his team to make the best of any situation thrown at them. In other words he’s actually going to coach.

  32. thefox61 says: Jul 24, 2014 9:47 PM

    “Now that’s what I call high quality H2O”

  33. Bridgeh2O4ROY says: Jul 24, 2014 9:48 PM

    I am so happy my Vikings elected to draft a Franchise QB, with the most pro ready game! He has the ability to Read defenses , dissect coverages, make all the throws & my favorite, he is the Anti-Ponder. He will actually remain in the pocket , always looking downfield to find the open receiver! As opposed to “mr happy feet Ponder” or this ” dollar bill rolling”, Bieber BFF, gimmick QB, that runs in circles , evading college LB’s, while tossing up the “hailmary”….. I give him the , he was fun watching @ A&M bit, but seriously, how many examples do we need, that this style of play will not bode well for him in the big’s!!! Good luck, Cleveland, I would kevin “LOVE” nothing more than to see him succeed, I just think you guys will be “WIGGINS” out after eveything is said and done!

  34. pfu2 says: Jul 24, 2014 9:55 PM

    Johnny’s teammates say he thinks he’s the best player on the field in the huddle. They say he has no quit in him & he believes he’s unstoppable. Maybe that is why he was the first freshman and fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season & the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Manning Award, and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Should the Browns use him in specialty packages that will speed up his learning curve to the speed of the game? Yes!!!

  35. j0esixpack says: Jul 24, 2014 10:00 PM

    Wonder if they’ll try the Jets old Buttfumble play too

  36. pancaketaco says: Jul 24, 2014 10:23 PM

    Because that always works…

  37. nomoreseasontix says: Jul 24, 2014 10:42 PM

    They’re calling it “Bieber flash two five lightning bust”….

    Sheesh…. Is there a bigger tool in the NFL than Manziel? He hasn’t even taken an NFL snap yet….

  38. rcali says: Jul 24, 2014 10:49 PM

    I like the fact that the coaches of The Team From Cleveland are warming up to Johnny Football.

  39. bullpuppy552 says: Jul 24, 2014 10:52 PM

    All I want to see is passrushers just pulverizing Manziel over and over again. That would be the sweetest thing ever for that arrogant punk.

  40. Big Ant TV says: Jul 24, 2014 10:56 PM

    oh boy were using wildcat and manziel will be getting drilled smh

  41. 4512dawg4512 says: Jul 24, 2014 11:14 PM

    Yeah the dual quarterback tandem has worked out so well in Cleveland, let’s just do it again! SMH

  42. philswfc08 says: Jul 24, 2014 11:18 PM

    If only tebow could have made any nfl throws…

  43. oldcracker says: Jul 24, 2014 11:24 PM

    Let’s refine the basics before getting too cute.

  44. dawgpound2009 says: Jul 24, 2014 11:47 PM

    Why not? He might make a better WR than most of the clowns they have right now! That’s it, Coach Goldberg! Get your overpriced/overdrafted rookie QB injured on some stupid gadget plan like Davis did to Winslow.

  45. jacobk621 says: Jul 25, 2014 3:29 AM

    Will he be able to carry the clipboard on to the field as well ??

  46. audient says: Jul 25, 2014 7:41 AM

    Great way to get the rookie’s feet wet without putting the entire game on his shoulders.

  47. tweener8292 says: Jul 25, 2014 10:13 AM

    He’s too small. Tebow and Kaipernick are linebacker size to absorb the punishment. Linebackers like Patrick Willis run 4.5 40’s and will track him down, knowing that he’s likely to run. That’s before the confusion they will throw at him as soon as he gets out there. This is one terrible idea. Good Luck Browns. You’re going to need it.

  48. comoman14 says: Jul 25, 2014 11:55 AM

    i give the browns a better than even chance of screwing this up…they got a great player and they don’t know what to do with him……

  49. strohkr says: Jul 25, 2014 12:00 PM

    OMG – just trade him a team that will actually give him a full chance and use him. What a joke.

  50. aggiefanatic says: Jul 25, 2014 12:22 PM

    Lol at all the comments about Manziel. most of you just repeating stuff you have read. It is pretty obvious you didn’t watch him in college.

  51. pacificnorthwestdave says: Jul 25, 2014 12:56 PM

    Florio has it right, Manziel and Kap are fleet and very quick (4.56 and 4.53 respectively) Tebow while very versed in the zone read offense, simply didn’t have the raw speed (4.7) required to excel at it. At 230+ I would have made him a tight end! JM will be very good if used…

  52. bobtxbrowns says: Jul 25, 2014 1:47 PM

    Manziel won’t be a “package QB” for long…I think Coach Pettine just wants to work Manziel into the NFL slowly.

    You Johnny Manziel doubters and haters need to just STOP IT….now! It’s getting really old people!
    Manziel is easily one of the greatest QBs to play the game in NCAA History… way Brian Hoyer can say that. If you just go back and compare Hoyer’s & Manziel’s college stats (and highlights)…there’s NO comparison. I mean, what QB wins the Heisman Trophy his very 1st year playing college ball…nobody, except Johnny Manziel. He deserved to Win it!

    One commenter stated “Yeah QBs that run is great, ask Brian Hoyer about it”. Well, has anyone gone back and reviewed the video of the game against Buffalo & the play when Hoyer was injured? Go look. Hoyer could have easily gotten safely out of bounds (on the right sideline) and made the first down……oh, but no, Brian decided to stay in bounds for a few more useless yards and he got nailed by a Line Backer…END OF SEASON for Hoyer. It should be noted that Manziel has NEVER missed a game (in high school or playing for A&M in the SEC) due to an injury. Funny reading that at Michigan State (in 4 yrs., Hoyer had -229 yards rushing vs. Manziel’s almost 2,300 yards rushing in ONLY 2 years at A&M. But, after Manziel’s 2nd & final year at A&M, he led the Nation with the highest QB “pocket passing average”…73.5%. So, the guy can beat you with both his arms and legs.

    I seem to recall a QB who is UNDER 6 ft. who just WON the Super Bowl (Russell Wilson)….playing a Denver team with a 6′ – 5” QB (Peyton Manning). So, don’t under estimate Johnny Manziel…..many players and coaches have in the past…and they LOST. JM rarely loses too…at anything. He hates to lose. And he has that rare athletic talent that allows him to be a WINNER.

    When Manziel starts lighting up the scoreboards and making plays this season that AMAZE you…remember my BLOG comments here.

  53. gbpack50 says: Jul 25, 2014 2:04 PM

    Who cares!! This little skinny arm, attention getter will be a big flop!!! College is not the pros!!

  54. mutantman87 says: Jul 25, 2014 5:04 PM

    Alright, let’s remember something. The NFL landscape is littered with the corpses of outstanding college careers, and not just at QB. Yes, Russell Wilson is small and probably has had the best first two seasons of a career in NFL history. But Russell Wilson prepares maniacally and also played in two different pro-style offenses at NC State and Wisconsin.

    Manziel plays in an “Air Raid” spread system. You should google “list of NFL QBs who played in Air Raid system.” The list isn’t pretty- it includes the Houston crew like Klingler and Ware, as well as QBs who played in more recent variations of it, like Kevin Kolb. Sumlin runs the system and Holgorsen also ran the system at OK St and WVU. Look at how Weeden and Geno Smith turned out. Maybe Johnny’s sheer talent will overcome all that, but he’s far from a lock to have NFL success, especially in a dysfunctional organization.

  55. bobtxbrowns says: Jul 25, 2014 6:41 PM

    To ‘mutanman87″…….I have to disagree with your analysis on Manziel. Yes, he’s not big, but, more like Russell Wilson & Drew Brees (2) of the Best QBs in the NFL. Too many of you NFL fans are hung up on BIG QBs. Well, I “used” to be a big Dallas Cowboy’s fan…but, no longer. Look at Tony Romo (he’s 6′-3″ & 225 lbs.). But, after 8 yrs. starting for Dallas, Romo has won 1 of 3 Playoff games….period. He’s got the best stats of any Dallas QB ever….so what, he’s NOT a winning QB!

    Funny, when I was comparing Hoyer’s college stats with Manziel’s. In 4 yrs. at Michigan State, Hoyer rushed for -229 yards. Manziel was only at A&M for 2 yrs. and he rushed for almost 2,300 yards. Manziel passed for 5,000 yards in college in a shorter number of games than any QB in NCAA history…destroyed the SEC QB passing records!

    One thing, I think you DID get right about Johnny Manziel….his athletic ability is incredible! The guy hates to lose at anything. Manziel has the athletic abilities and serious competitive drive that allows him to be a WINNER….he rarely loses at anything. I don’t think he’s quite 6 ft…but, I watched an on-line video of Manziel slam dunking a basketball with 1 and 2 hands…UNREAL. It was like he was 6’-5″ on that court…he made it look easy.

    Sure, Manziel played in an “air raid type offensive scheme”, but, Browns Offensive Coach Shanahan will most likely be taking full advantage of Manziel’s ability to run and make plays with a moving pocket. But, Manziel can pass out of the pocket…after the 2013 season, he was ranked the #1 NCAA “pocket passer” with a 73.5% rating.

    Don’t under estimate Manziel….many coaches and players have in the past…and they LOST to him. The Browns appear to have a pretty solid defense…and have some new quality players…Manziel can’t do it all alone, no QB can…but, the BROWNS have a much better chance to succeed with Manziel than with Hoyer…hands down!

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