Pettine seems to be done with Manziel, but are the Browns?


With Josh McCown injured and Austin Davis getting the nod on Sunday over Johnny Manziel, it’s increasingly clear that Browns coach Mike Pettine has permanently lost the ability to trust Manziel as the starter.

The broader question is whether the Browns, too, are done with Manziel, if the Browns end up being done with Pettine.

At a time when some league insiders believe that it’s a foregone conclusion that Pettine and G.M. Ray Farmer will be fired by owner Jimmy Haslam at the end of the season (if not sooner), the organization likely intends to keep Manziel around, at least for now. And for two reasons.

First, Manziel has trade value, especially since Cowboys owner and G.M. Jerry Jones periodically reiterates his affinity for the Texas native, whom Jones wanted to select with the 15th pick in the first round of the 2014 draft. The Browns could unload Manziel, pick up a draft pick or two, and save plenty of face by dealing Manziel to Dallas.

Second, the next coach in Cleveland (if/when there is one) may want Manziel. Indeed, there’s one potential candidate who has raved in recent days about Manziel, lobbying a week ago for the Browns to give Manziel another chance and — in a dramatic break from Gruden’s habit of praising everyone and everything in order to burn no NFL bridges — expressing disdain for Pettine’s decision to keep Manziel on the bench during Monday night’s Ravens-Browns game.

“This is punishing everybody,” Gruden said after Davis replaced McCown. “It’s not just punishing Johnny Manziel. It’s punishing the owner, Jimmy Haslam, who’s trying to turn this franchise around. That kid needs to be playing. This is his opportunity to launch his career. He’s coming off the best game he’s played. They need to get him on the field, hopefully next week.”

Tomorrow is next week, and Manziel won’t be playing. Instead, Manziel will be spending his 23rd birthday watching when the Browns host the Bengals, who trounced Manziel and the Browns, 30-0, in his first career start last December.

58 responses to “Pettine seems to be done with Manziel, but are the Browns?

  1. Johnny needs to stay and Pettine & Farmer should have already been fired. Why he keeps these 2 clowns employed is mind boggling?

    Pettine & Farmer have no clue what they are doing. Its apparent everyday they are incompetent and just flat out stupid.

  2. Another great story about a player who isn’t even playing. and yet we still haven’t heard much about the story fma certain QB who has been to 3 SBs and won 2. When James Harrison was fined for personal fouls a few years ago, I couldn’t open up PFT without reading about it. And yet not one story about Michael Bennett not being fined for his late helmet to helmet hit on Ben Roethlisberger. A hit that caused a concussion to one of the leagues premier players. A late hit that would have stirred outrage in Mike Florio had it happened to Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. The type of miscarriage of justice by Goodell and his cronies that would cause Mike Florio to go on and on for weeks about. Such as case Keenum, or deflategate. Bennett is a repeat offender this year. The same type of repeat offenses that got James Harrison suspended for a game. And yet all we hear from PFT is the sound of silence. I’m guessing just as the league has different rules for different players, so does Mike Florio have different standards on which players he defends when it comes to safety.

  3. Pettine IS the problem. His determination to force compliance with his parental standard shows a determination to punish an admittedly juvenile Manziel, the fans, the organization and the team. The season is over so why not find out if Manziel can play? If you don’t play him this year, what value does he have next year? Another year of Cleveland idiocy …. Next year – new coach; new GM; new QB – Same result.

  4. Has Farmer drafted anyone who is an impact player? No.

    Has Pettine shown what it takes to have his players rally around him? No.

    Enough said.

  5. I can’t believe Kevin Cosner actually gave up three #1’s for Johnny Walker Football and nailed Afleck’s wife in the closet during his father’s funeral

  6. Gruden and the owner are known buddies.
    It is a bit disingenuous of him to be honest unless he has told his buddy, yes i will come back and coach the team and train that manziel person into a real nfl qb.
    i cant for the life of me figure out how anyone would want to hitch their career to johnny Fball

  7. The book on John Pigskin coming out of Texas A&M: immature and selfish dumpster fire reeking of alcohol (and whatever else was being snorted through the rolled up paper currency in that bathroom)

  8. Getting rid of Farmer and Pettine is probably the best move, but at some point, you have to show stability and commitment as an organization. Constant never-ending change isn’t working. Why does anyone think the next GM and coach is going to be the solution? And why would anyone take that job is they believe they’ll be fired in two years?

    Haslam needs to get it right with the next hires and plan to keep them around

  9. Of the trio, Pettine is the best. And that isn’t saying much. Manziel is a bust. Farmer is Haslam’s sockpuppet. I’m not saying Pettine is a great hc, he is likely another great DC who shouldn’t be a HC. But if you have to keep one, he is the best choice. I suspect instead that Farmer and Manziel stay and Pettine gets fired.

  10. You see, the thing is – unless you went to Texas A&M or are a sports writer – most of us really don’t care, and are tired of the incessant Manziel updates.

  11. deneb1973 says:
    Dec 5, 2015 10:05 PM
    Pettine IS the problem. ……. Another year of Cleveland idiocy …. Next year – new coach; new GM; new QB – Same result.


    So then maybe Pettine ISN’T the problem…. Like you said all those new things and they would get the SAME results…. and I understand Why… they haven’t done much to prove anyone different… I don’t think Pettine is the problem, and he isn’t going to be the guy to fix them either, but those isssues were around long before he came around.

    The GMs haven’t drafted or hired well there, I mean Joe Thomas is a HOF player, but in all honestly and I could be wrong, because I don’t get to see a whole lot of Cleveland games… They haven’t drafted good enough players to put in their TEAM HOF. I mean the list of 1st round misses since coming back is enough to make a Browns fan feel ill.

  12. Obviously if playing the scrawny, sawed off weasel would boost, rather than plummet his trade value, he would be out there on the field.

    Even a lame duck coach realistic about hus future wouldn’t risk getting fired mid-season; obviously Pettine realizes Davis puts the team in much better position to win a couple of games.

    Just not having repeatedly lost the grown men’s respect gives Davis an advantage in the huddle.

  13. Johnny Goofup was going to drag down whoever was coaching him this year.

    After screwing up again and again, if he gets another chance in Cleveland next year, the new coach will suffer for that decision.

    He needs to be cut, or traded for a pack of gum, or he will never make the effort to grow up.

  14. Yes, put your money on the alcoholic who has very quickly failed after rehab.


    If you really think this kid is going to respond well to the coach drawing a hard line with him by stepping up, staying sober and working his rear end off I think you’ll be sadly disappointed.

  15. They might as well go into the Sixers Tank Mode(tm) because that’s what they’ll end up being. They’ll draft another QB, and keep McCown for another year because you know whoever you draft isn’t going to be ready to play right off. Then they’ll decide they didn’t draft the right guy. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  16. How can people be taking sides on this? Isnt it obvious all three (Pettine, Farmer, and Manziel) need to go? Pettine and Farmer said they were building a team around running the ball and stout defense. They can’t run and they cant stop anyone. Manziel promised he was going to be dedicated and do everything it takes to be great. So far he has started 5 games and played a big part of another- if anyone thinks that what he’s done in those 6 games portends stardom they must have watched different games than I did. His team got beat badly by the Steeelers- he may have played his best game (and we scored all of 9 pts??) but was that any reason to celebrate? A competitor liek Staubach, Aikman, would have been mad at the result and gone back to work, not go out partying. It is obvious all three have been given jobs above the ceiling set by their ability.

  17. Manziel has made Stephen Jones look like a genius but if Jerry is dumb enough to take him then he deserves whatever happens. They will deserve each other.

    That said, unless Manziel was under a court order not to drink, I don’t understand why he lost the starting spot, he voluntarily went to rehab and the league didnt even punish him for incident with his girlfriend. The latter speaks volumes when you consider all the visibility on domestic violence right now.

    The bottom line is he is immature and you can’t ask a kid who’s clearly not ready to grow up to be a leader of men.

  18. In fairness to Mike Pettine, Manziel has been out boozing it up, getting into altercations with fans, and getting into a fight with his girlfriend that got the NFL investigating. Players get suspended for that stuff all the time. If Manziel is going to be a long-term starting QB, he has to be reliably available. Trying to discipline the party animal out of him may be futile but it’s an entirely reasonable approach; this is the same team that got burned by Josh Gordon, after all.

    And if Manziel is going to lie to the coaching staff about what he’s doing, how can you have any faith that you can clamp down on the party animal enough to rely on the QB?

  19. Manziel lied to his employer about his partying.

    This was AFTER his so-called rehab and his promise to walk the straight and narrow.

    So, Manziel is a punk liar.

    My father (God bless his soul) used to say that “I’d rather trust a thief than a liar, since at least you know what a thief is going to do.”

    Send him packing.

  20. Cleveland seems to be a embarrassment at worst and a real bad team at best. They have an unproven quarterback that can’t stay on the field because someone insists he pass the Jedi test first. Let the kid play for Gods sake.

  21. Gruden has opportunities to coach if he wants to, and then he can he big decisions. But hope Manziel does go to Dallas

  22. My rant was precisely done because it had nothing to do with Cleveland. My rant was because Michael Bennett has had 3 personal fouls against him this season, and he speared Ben roethlisberger denting his face mask concussing Ben roethlisberger. The league claims player safety, yet allows a repeat offender to get away with a helmet to helmet hit with no fine. And my rant was also specifically against Mike Florio and PFT because they also claim to care about player safety as evidence by their crusade against the league spotters and coach fisher of the Rams, claiming they didn’t protect case Keenum. PFT and Mike Florio have a great power and a great responsibility. They went after the league over deflate gate, they hammered James harrisonmover his repeat personal fouls and 1 game suspension, but they have been hugely silent over this non fine to Bennett. I would feel the same if the league allowed any QB to be hit like this, and not fined. I’m hugely disappointed in florio and PFT.

  23. Pettine is a terrible coach – that’s on Haslam/Farmer. I don’t think Manziel is that great of a QB either, but any sane team would throw him into the fire for the rest of the season just to see. Pettine must really hate him. Overall, just a big mess.

    I love Cleveland as a city and their fans – they deserve better across the board.

  24. Yeah, that’s it, Manziel should be rewarded for his growing rapsheet by making him the starter. Hell, he’s done everything anyone would want and expect from a pro QB.

    Gruden is insane. He and Johnny deserve each other. Maybe Gruden will lobby to get him in the MNF booth with he and Terico.

  25. Lifelong Browns fan here. Tried to quit many times, but keep falling off the wagon.

    When the Browns drafted Manziel I was really excited because I knew that we were either going to see an exciting quarterback or an exciting dumpster fire.

    Manziel has not disappointed. Cant wait to see what kind of hijinks he gets himself into next as he continues to drag a once proud franchise into the dumps.

    PS (expletive deleted) you Haslam!

  26. You see, the thing is – unless you went to Texas A&M or are a sports writer – most of us really don’t care, and are tired of the incessant Manziel updates.

    Yet here we are. We clicked on the headline and we are bothering to comment. If we REALLY didn’t care we’d have ignored this article and gone on to something else.

    But we didn’t.

  27. I’ve been watching the Browns since their AAC days. By far, Pettine is the most incompetent, unqualified coach, in any capacity, the Browns have EVER employed. His high school coaching staff is abysmal. When the pre-snap penalties exceed the yardage gained, what does that tell you? Pettine numbers as a Defense Coordinator speak volumes. I believe his best year was 30th ranked(?) I believe the Running Backs coach, Montgomery, is the only one who gives a damn.

    It’s difficult for me to evaluate Farmer’s draft picks because Pettine does not know how to use them, or coach them up. How good or bad are these picks? How can so many (consensus) 1st & 2nd round draft picks simply not be ready, or even in shape? I mean even a blind squirrel can get his nut. What I will fault Farmer for is in letting some of the vets on defense simply walk away, and play well on other teams. What I will fault Farmer for is signing a guy like Bowe, and then just letting him sit….or is that Pettine’s play again?

    Of the two, Farmer has a good tack record with Kansas City, and has some cred within the NFL. Pettine’s only qualification is that, “his dad is regarded as a pretty good high school coach in Pennsylvania.”

    Farmer inherited Pettine from the circus known as Banner & Dumbardi. I believe they knew what they were doing as they were being shown the door.

  28. I don’t have the answers on Manziel, but I know this.

    At some point Cleveland has to stop firing people. One year quick fixes aren’t going to happen.

    Spend two years drafting linemen for both sides with your high picks and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much better your skill position players will perform.

  29. You neglected to get an opinion from MK Cabot, the anti-everything Browns reporter. She is also good at stirring the pot for responses.

  30. I see a constant stream of posts about how the Browns should dump Pettine and get someone better – usually Gruden, Saban or some other high profile guy.

    The problem is this is a lousy job, none of those high profile guys wanted anything to do with it and the best guy they could get to take it last time was Pettine.

    You have to be realistic here.

  31. Hard to imagine how someone like Johnny Highball can screw up an NFL QB career. And he has, so far.

  32. Not sure why the coach gets heat for this. At a minimum, he plays the guys that don’t lie to his face. If he did start Manziel after all the bull he’s put him through he would lose the team. He gave Manziel the keys to the franchise, and the first thing the kid does is the one thing he couldn’t. I’m not saying he’s a good coach, but he shouldn’t be getting heat over this decision.

  33. Play Manziel – hope he does at least ok – then trade him for a #3 or #2.

    Or bench him, trade him, and get a lot less.

  34. I love the comments about Jerry Jones. Yes, because if we have learned anything about Jerry is that you should believe everything that comes from his eater.

    Yes, Jerry wanted the kid at one point, but why would anyone want him now? He sucks on the field and he’s a disaster of a person. I know everyone thinks Jerry is crazy, but he doesn’t run the team as much as his much more stable son Stephen does these days.

    If Manziel ends up in Dallas it won’t be for a pick.

  35. Heres to the Bengals blowing out the Clowns 70-0 so Haslam grows a pair and fires Pettine

    Any fan that would stick up for Pettine knows absolutely zero about football.

    If Pettine wants to be someone’s gay father then all he is qualified for is Head Coach of the Flag Football League at the YMCA.

  36. Well, I think the Browns are done with this loser Pettine. They guy is big on slogans, but he is junk as a head coach. Another failed coordinator who got a head coaching job he was not even qualified to do.

    Combine that with a moron for a general manager who thinks he is the smartest man doing that job in the NFL and you wind up with exactly what the Browns are today. A complete and utter crapfest.

    See ya’ Pettine, and take that idiot Failure Farmer with you. Maybe you can latch on to a high school head coaching job just like your daddy before you.

  37. I’m done with everyone in the Browns organization.

    The same person that designed those stupid new uniform pants had their hand in the draft picks.

  38. For all of you calling to fire Manziel, who wants to trust a billion dollar organization to a drunk, lying, brat? Whoever it is, trade with them! For those of you who want to fire Pettine, remember, he wasn’t our first choice. He was, like, the fifth choice. We tried to get Chip Kelly. He didn’t want to work for us. We talked to several others. We even talked about bringing Shottenheimer or Bill Cower back, who literally laughed us off. The bottom line is that until we show that we can provide some stability and sanity instead of firing everybody every two years, we won’t be able to hire anybody decent. No one of any caliber will want to sign on for this abuse. We are in a mess of our own making. But Manziel is poison.

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