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Pettine: Browns QB decision ‘week to week’

Posted Dec 2, 2015

Austin Davis to make 1st Cleveland start vs. Cincinnati

The Browns will handle their decisions at quarterback week to week over the season’s final five games.

Austin Davis will make his first start as a Brown on Sunday against the Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium, but that’s as far as coach Mike Pettine will look at the position in the wake of Josh McCown’s season-ending clavicle injury.

Pettine said he laid out the parameters to Davis and Johnny Manziel in meetings early Wednesday.

“These are two players that we both want to see play. That is the bottom line,” Pettine said. “I don’t want to declare, ‘Hey, this is what it is going to be from here on out.’ These are two young quarterbacks that have upside and we want to see what that upside is. Austin is the guy for this week.”

Pettine said this week’s decision had more to do with Davis’ performance at the end of Monday’s loss to the Ravens than it did Manziel’s recent demotion behind him.

Davis completed 7-of-10 passes for 77 yards, leading the Browns on a game-tying drive that was capped with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin. The 26-year-old will make his ninth NFL start on Sunday against the Bengals one year after starting eight games for the St. Louis Rams.

“A big part of it with Austin is the mental. He is as prepared as any quarterback that I have been around,” Pettine said. “He is relentless in that way. I think he goes into games in his mind I think processing speed that he has rehearsed it so many times in his head that I think he gets the ball out and is decisive maybe quicker than some other guys. I think that is one where we see the skill set is the intangible stuff, two, the guys around him, respect him and they see how passionate he is.

“From a physical standpoint, he is has some mobility. When the pocket is clean for him and he can step up he has some arm strength to him as well. I think he demonstrated that the other night.”

Pettine said he has had “very good discussions” with Manziel in recent days. He’s not worried about how the offense will handle the potential changes over the next five games, either, because of how all three have collectively performed this season.

“We feel good about what we have gotten,” Pettine said. “There have certainly been mistakes made and a lot of learning experiences, but at the same time we feel pretty good about the production that we have gotten from that room. I don’t think it will be an issue for the other guys in the huddle.”


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