In Cleveland, we don’t have quarterback controversies, we have quarterback fights.
It’s not enough to say you prefer one signal caller over another, you have to point out that the other guy is god awful as well.
That’s what has happened for many when discussing this year’s passing duo–Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown.
If you are a Manzealot, you have to show your contempt for McCown, while if you prefer the veteran, that means you have to point out that Johnny Football is a punk who can’t stop partying.
The reality is (and we have said this all along) quarterback play hasn’t been to the problem for the Cleveland Browns this season. Both Manziel and McCown have played well.
Quite frankly, that both have played well is a miracle. The offense hasn’t been able to run the football at all this season, and the offensive line hasn’t performed up to expectations.
The wide receiving corps is filled with slot receivers, and some of those guys have had problems catching the ball when it has been thrown to them.
The only reliable weapon for either passer has been TE Gary Barnidge. Brian Hartline was starting to come on before he broke his collarbone in the win against the 49ers.
Looking at passer rating, smack dab in the middle of this statistic in Brian Hoyer (ironic, huh?) at 93.0. McCown rates just ahead of Hoyer at 93.3, while Manziel is a very respectable 85.9.
The difference between the two is Manziel’s touchdown rate is lower than the veteran and his interception rate is a bit higher.
Both guys have done a solid job, and we would even point out that McCown has done better at putting points on the board.
So why play Manziel if McCown has performed admirably? Because there is only one man on the roster who has a chance to be a better than average starting QB in the NFL, and that is the second year man out of Texas A & M.
He’s a first round draft pick and he just turned 23 years old. His future is ahead of him. McCown will be 37 next season, and let’s face it, he is what he is, he’s not getting any better.
Since the Browns will have one of the top five picks in next spring’s draft, the subject of drafting another quarterback, the almighty “franchise QB” will be discussed ad nauseum.
However, we don’t think any of the guys currently mentioned (Paxton Lynch, Jerod Goff, Connor Cook) are rated among the top ten players in the draft, so we would pass if we were the Browns.
Besides, it should be obvious to everyone that Cleveland’s biggest problem is their defense, which has allowed 30 or more points in nine of the 14 games they have played.
If you want to improve the team quickly, don’t you have to go with the best defensive player available?
Remember that if the Browns’ defense gave up 20 points in every game this season, they would be a .500 football team. That’s where this team needs to improve.
We would have no problem if the Browns go into the 2016 season with both Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown on the roster with another rookie drafted in the second or third round as well.
The reason to play Manziel is to see what he can do, it’s not because McCown played terribly.