Pettine says a package of plays for Manziel is a possibility


Brian Hoyer beat him out to be the Browns’ starting quarterback, but Johnny Manziel still might take some snaps in Week One against the Steelers.

Browns coach Mike Pettine told Ross Tucker on SiriusXM NFL Radio that a “Manziel package” is “on the table.”

“We could potentially look at a two-quarterback system down the road,” Pettine said.

That may conflict with what Pettine said when he announced Hoyer as the starter this week: Pettine had said that he didn’t want Hoyer to feel like he was on a short leash, and he wanted Hoyer to feel that the starting quarterback job was his to run with. Now Pettine is suggesting that Hoyer may have to take a seat (or line up wide as nothing more than a decoy) while Manziel comes on the field for certain plays.

However, Pettine has said in the past that he likes the idea of making opposing defenses think about the possibility of Manziel coming in and using his mobility to make plays. Pettine knows all too well how that can be tough for a defense: In 2012, when Pettine was defensive coordinator for the Jets, the 49ers used then-backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a special package of plays, and Kaepernick ran five times for 50 yards and a touchdown as the 49ers whipped the Jets 34-0.

I’ve seen that give defenses some trouble,” Pettine said. in July. “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.”

The pluses are that Manziel could get some playing experience, and that his athletic ability could help the Browns move the ball on the ground. But the big minus is that Pettine is already saying, just days after anointing Hoyer the starter, that Manziel may take some snaps away from Hoyer.

58 responses to “Pettine says a package of plays for Manziel is a possibility

  1. yep, they’re gonna screw this up. Look at the bright side, Johnny. Next season you’ll have a new coach. And the season after. And the one after that. In 4-5 years you won’t be able to remember who your first coach was.

  2. In other words, “It is way too early to admit we made a huge mistake drafting this clown but we’re beginning to think it might have been.”

  3. Gimmicky offenses/offensive schemes don’t usually work in the NFL for long.

    Case in point:

    -Spread Option
    -Air Raid
    -Any scheme that lines your starting QB up as a WR

  4. For the love of God stop the 2 QB crap. When you have two half prepared QB’s for a game, you have none. It’s never worked. Maybe if you have a big lead this year put Manziel in to get some reps at the end if you want. I don’t see us outscoring any teams for that to be a reallistic posibility.

  5. Monday: We’ll name a QB Tuesday
    Tuesday: We’re not ready
    Wednesday: It’s Hoyer and it’s his team
    Thursday: I don’t see the value in using 2 QB’s
    Friday: We’re thinking about packages for both QB’s

    That’s just this week.

  6. For that to work, the player first has to pose some sort of a threat. And Johnny has yet to show that he is any sort of a threat.

    He hasn’t thrown the ball exceptionally well. And he hasn’t really made any plays with his legs. So my guess is that this will never actually materialize.

  7. Honestly, it should be troubling to Browns’ fans for Pettine to mention this concept. If you will remember, he WAS after all a member of the Rex Ryan-led coaching-staff that touted the “Tebow-Package” and the “extra-preparation” it forced opposing teams to prepare for as a competitive advantage.

    I do not need to be a historian to tell you exactly how all of that ended up: It was an incredible distraction and unsuccessful tactic. And, (in my opinion) it was what ruined Mark Sanchez’s confidence and ultimately exacerbated the woes of an already marginally-performing offense.

    I’m not saying similar results would be in store for Browns this year should they have similar thinking and intentions for Manziel, but I mean, its crazy that Pettine WITNESSED this fiasco with the Jets and is STILL open to it today?…

    If anything I think he is smoke-screening to gain some sort of edge in week 1 at least – I cannot seriously believe this would actually be under genuine consideration. I had actually even anticpipated this thought (of a smokescreen) being mentioned in the article and was surprised to see that it wasn’t.

  8. Isn’t it a bit extreme to compare Manziel’s athletic ability to Kaepernick? Kaepernick runs like a deer, his .40 time at the combine in no way reflects how fast he really is on the field. While Manziel isn’t slow and is a talented runner, I don’t see him being anywhere near as fast or as dangerous running as Kaepernick.

  9. This sounds EXACTLY like what coaches said in regard to Tim Tebow. They’re going with this other quarterback, but we might have some plays just for him.

  10. Good God just start him or don’t. The more they flip flop back and forth on this the more attention that gets drawn to it.

    This is also a classic example of “trying to be competitive” vs “trying to develop a player”.

    Hoyer has veteran experience and a command of the offense and more then likely would give them the best chance to win. He won’t make stupid rookie mistakes, he won’t opposing team off, etc. If you want to try and field the most competitive team you can to win games, he should be the QB.

    On the other hand, you drafted Johnny Football for a reason. If you think he’s the future, and probably equally important for the Browns you want to put @$$es in the seats, you start him and let him learn by experience. It won’t hurt him to sit out for a year and hold a clipboard and learn, but the league just doesn’t work that way anymore. Nobody gets 3 or 4 seasons to develop behind someone else, and it’s trial by fire. If you start from day 1 and you suck, you have 3 seasons max to get it right. There will be a lot more Clausens and Gabberts, and Weedens, and Ponders in the future who got thrown into the frying pan and spit out because they didn’t make that leap in talent early.

    If the Browns were really smart they would give up on the whole “best opportunity to win” mantra and either put Manziel in after the bye week if they start 0-4 or have him play the 4th quarter if they are getting clobbered in games. If they are down by 24 pts in the 4th quarter Hoyer isn’t going to dig them out anyway.

  11. Terrible idea. It’ll rob practice time from Hoyer and the regular offense while slowing down Manziel’s development because he’ll only be concentrating on the few plays he’ll be running.

    And they’re eventually going to figure out the hard way that he’s not a big enough guy to expose to constant hits running the option or whatever gimmicks they have in mind for him.

  12. Pettine is serving waffles now? Oh, just great. The more the fuster-cluck of a summer spins, the more this Browns fan is worried that both or either:
    1- Pettine is another Crennel or Mangini– that is, a solid Def Cor. but just not HC material (this flip-flop contradicts his comments made only a few days ago. Hmm, what’s the “real story” here!??); which leads directly to…
    2- that just maybe Jimmy the Gent’ Haslem is pulling some strings behind the scenes. That would DOOM my favorite team worse than anything…not only because of unqualified decision maker pulling the strings, but he would be doing it hidden, behind the curtain of “deniability”, like a cowardly little bee-otch. Hey, it kind of sounds like his scandal and the crimes the feds charged his Pilot-Flying J firm with, doesn’t it?

    God knows Browns fans truly deserve better, if either of the above are even slightly accurate. Oh tea, where did Ray Farmer go? I know it’s H.C. job to discuss camp, players with media but Farmer has been completely silent since camp started. Maybe that is a good thing…who knows? I just wish the Browns could put a little “fun” into their dysfunction.

  13. you don’t need a package for Johnny, you will setting your offense for a disappointment . Either have him in or bench him. Should of of got Mallet.

  14. @thestrategyexpert

    Essentially, packages are just different combinations of personnel … so subbing in a player or two players could certainly mean switching to different packages.

    I see what you mean though.

  15. I do t understand all these ppl saying Johnny isn’t fast enough for the NFL.. he had a better 40 than Russell Wilson.. AND.. he had a really good scrabble up the middle breaking free of 2 linemen for like 13 yards VS Detroit.

    He has also shown off his escapability in practice. You didn’t see it as much in the games because he is trying to learn NOT to scramble.. they want him learning from the pocket. Don’t worry.. he will show up

  16. Doesn’t seem like a great idea, unless it’s a ploy to get the Steelers to waste time practicing for something the Browns have no intention of doing.

    More important question: can a brother get a ruling on Josh Gordon?!?

  17. That HC needs to be quiet about Menziel. I thought he learned his lesson after he opened his mouth about picking the starting QB after the MNF only to see a pathetic performance by both guys. He picked Brian Hoyer and thats it. Johnny is Johnny Clipboard now. He needs to learn more about the NFL and become a Pro
    Also both Qbs are different. Youll have to run two different offenses. If I were a Browns O-lineman, I’d be pissed.

  18. I think it’s asking a lot of a rookie head coach to handle the Manziel circus in the first year. I think this is going to implode as the season goes on.

  19. “In 2012, when Pettine was defensive coordinator for the Jets, the 49ers used then-backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a special package of plays…”
    Really? Kaepernick is a 6’5″world class athlete who throws a 95 mph fast ball and runs a sub 4.5 forty. Johnny Wildcat runs a 4.7 forty and threw jump balls to Mike Evans to earn a Heisman.

    This cannot be good.

  20. Gimmicky offenses/offensive schemes don’t usually work in the NFL for long. Case in point:
    -Spread Option
    -Air Raid
    -Any scheme that lines your starting QB up as a WR
    ok, i agree that the wildcat, spread option and schemes that line your starting QB as WRs dont work. the spread is dangerous and the wildcat is just dull, BUT i disagree on one offense not working in the nfl and the other one needs time. the air raid system can work, but i think running the ball needs to occur more too which is why i wouldnt use it. the Pistol offense (if used the right way) CAN work. if you use the Pistol offense like teams use the shotgun, then it will work, but if you use it as a spread option look, then it’s dangerous for the QB.

    Now, as for the IDEA of a package of plays for Manziel, no. get that out of your mind Pettine. Manziel isnt Kaepernick, RG3, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Vick or Tebow as a runner. he’s more of a runner when things break down. sure he can have a called run at times, but i wouldnt use him as a spread option guy like they tried, he cant do that. he’s not as fast as those guys i mentioned or as strong as them either. in other words, i would let Manziel backup and let him start if/when Hoyer struggles.

  21. That is the player version of the dreaded vote of confidence to a coach.

    On the other hand, ask Matt Lauer to ask about the Manziel package…

  22. Also, one has to remember that, at base, Pettine is a high school coach. Now if that’s what the Browns wanted, hey, ok. But I thought they were in the “NFL”.

    How long before Pettine is nicknamed “Poutine”? (no disrespect to our Canadian friends)

  23. bubbybrisket says: Aug 22, 2014 9:33 AM

    Gimmicky offenses/offensive schemes don’t usually work in the NFL for long. …
    Yeah, these things never work for long. Like back in ’75 when the Cowboys implemented a previously sporadically used formation called “the shotgun.” They won the Super Bowl that year, but then defenses adapted to it. Sort of.

  24. “We could potentially look at a two-quarterback system down the road,” Pettine said.”

    Yeah, because that is what real championship contending teams do.

    Either start him or don’t. Then you lie in the bed you made.

    I keep hoping that the poor people of Cleveland will catch a break, but alas the factory of sadness continues.

  25. The package includes:
    -refilling water bottles
    -wearing mittens at all times to avoid more fines
    -shaving Hoyer’s dome before each game
    -cleaning up after the new mascot “Swagger”
    -helping Pettine in his search for a new job next season

  26. Good lord, and with that they just went from 3-13 to 2-14. How good does Weeden have to be feeling right now to be far away from this train wreck…

  27. I think Pettine meant a package of players for Manziel. Trade the 2 “starters” for future draft picks. Just go with Sexy Rexy and Shaw….that HAS to be an improvement over what we’ve seen so far.

    Right or wrong, the Head Coach has to be a leader, and the leader has to lead. Make up your mind and live with it!

  28. it should be clear by now to the casual observer that pettine is in way over his head….feel sorry for manziel and homeboy hoyer, too for that matter….

  29. I thought this was a story on a Manziel trade for a package of “PLAYERS”.
    The Browns need Snoop back in the dog pound.

  30. The Browns have really screwed this up. Wednesday it was “Hoyer is the starter, he was clearly a cut above Manziel”. Friday its “Well Hoyer was not that far aead of Manziel, we may use 2 guys”. So if Hoyer was clearly ahead why split the reps with the 1’s? Doing that put both behind in terms of timing and cohesion. Also why have Gordon play with the 1’s, shouldn’t a receiver that will actually be playing week 1 play with the starters? Sounds like the Browns coach made a decision but ownership was not thrilled and is now opening the door a little.
    Really poor handling of the situation. Oh and 2 bad QB’s does not make a defense prepare differently-

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