The Cleveland Browns do not have a quarterback competition taking place this season. After opting not to make moves for Marcus Mariota or Sam Bradford, Josh McCown is preparing to enter as the starter for the 2015 as Johnny Manziel takes his position as backup. According to McCown, this eliminates the distraction during OTAs and the upcoming training camp, but what happens if the veteran fails to bounce back after a bad year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
McCown likes the idea of entering practice as the top guy. After a roller coaster rookie season, Manziel is trying to come back and prove he can be the real deal in the NFL, but right now he is doing so from the backup role. McCown told the media that the established depth chart is helping him focus without distractions.
"More than anything, for me, I just believe it takes away from any kind of distraction that you can have and the team can just move in one direction, regardless of who that guy is,'' McCown said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "It's helpful to just say, 'this is our guy until something happens and he's not our guy. But I agree with that philosophy and that approach. It doesn't take anything away from our group and it doesn't take away from what Johnny and Thad (Lewis) and Connor (Shaw) are doing. We're all working together."
McCown might be the top guy, but according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, neither he nor Manziel impressed in those first few practices. Head coach Mike Pettine made it clear he was not thrilled with what he saw as throws were missed and interceptions were tossed. Barring an injury or major turnaround, McCown will get the starter, but Manziel can do a lot for his future if he can start playing better than the veteran.
The Browns believe they have the correct personnel to help the quarterbacks improve. The team went out during the offseason and signed Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe who are supposed to make up for the fact that the Browns did not draft a top wide receiver for the second straight season. They also added Duke Johnson in the draft who will help both the run and receiving game. The rookie could push Travis Benjamin or Taylor Gabriel off the roster if he can prove to be a vital asset for the Browns.