Johnny Manziel is once again on the Cleveland Browns’ bad side.
Cleveland has benched the second-year quarterback at the heels of TMZ.com’s posting a video of him partying in Austin, Texas during the Browns’ bye week.
On Monday, a video surfaced on TMZ.com of the sophomore QB holding a bottle of champagne at a nightclub in Austin. It can be recalled that earlier this year, he entered rehab for his alleged drinking problem and only recently was pulled over by police after arguing with his girlfriend.
In a statement posted on Cleveland’s website, head coach Mike Pettine said the Browns will start veteran QB Josh McCown anew. Austin Davis will be his backup, while Manziel is relegated to being a third-stringer.
“Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens. I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) and (quarterbacks coach) Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.
“Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward,” Pettine stated.
In Manziel’s last start for the Browns – versus Pittsburgh, he had a pretty solid performance: he threw for 372 yards and completed 73.3% of his passes in Cleveland’s sorry 9-30 loss.
McCown, given the green light to play after sustaining a rib injury, told reporters he’s ready to go and that he’s still rallying behind his embattled teammate.
“It’s hard to comment on what a team-mate does outside the building, as long as he’s doing what he’s supposed to inside. My hope for him is whatever those choices he makes are healthy choices and are good for him as a person,” McCown said. “I’m behind the guy 100% and want nothing but the best for him.”