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Browns offseason position analysis: Quarterbacks

Finally, it's time for some offense.

After three days of analysis on the defensive side of the ball, we're turning our attention to the position that draws more attention than any other in sports.

It's quarterback day.

The Raw Data

Josh McCown - 8 starts, 186/292, 2,109 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs, 93.3 QBR

Johnny Manziel - 6 starts, 129/223, 1,500 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs, 79.4 QBR

Austin Davis - 2 starts, 56/94, 547 yards, TD, 3 INTs, 66.2 QBR

Others on the roster

Pat Devlin

Connor Shaw

The Rankings

Passing offense - 236 yards per game - 21st

Completion percentage - 60.9 percent - 23rd

Passing TDs - 20 - T-26th

INTs - 12 - T-17th

Contract talk

(According to, the following players contracts will expire at the start of the new league year in March)

• Devlin

Who's in charge now?

Associate Head Coach - Offense - Pep Hamilton (19 years experience, 11 in NFL)

Quote to note

"The success of any NFL franchise goes with the ability of its quarterback and we need a guy that can be here for a period of years and drive continued success." - Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown

High Point

The Browns needed a win in the worst way and they got one Week 5 thanks to a memorable, record-setting performance from McCown. Down by double digits on the road at Baltimore, McCown brought Cleveland back by getting just about everyone involved in an all-out aerial assault. McCown finished with a franchise-record 457 yards on 36-of-51 passing in the 33-30 overtime victory. At the time, it was his third straight game of 300 or more passing yards and Cleveland ranked sixth in the league in passing through five weeks.

Low Point

After Manziel lost the starting role he'd earned just two weeks earlier because of an off-the-field transgression and McCown was lost for the season with a clavicle injury, Davis became the third quarterback to start a game when the Browns hosted Cincinnati for a Week 13 matchup. Cleveland couldn't get anything going while the Bengals dominated on both sides of the ball in a 37-3 runaway victory. Davis threw for 230 yards but the Browns didn't find the end zone for just the second time all season.

Surprise, Surprise

Though Davis struggled in his two starts, he found a bit of success in his surprise relief effort against the Ravens in Week 12. With McCown down and Manziel holding the role as No. 3 quarterback, Davis entered in the fourth quarter and led the Browns to a game-tying touchdown when he connected with Travis Benjamin on a 42-yard strike down the center of the field. The effort was encouraging but didn't end on a high note, as Baltimore won the game by returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

Outlook for 2016

All eyes will be on this position throughout the offseason. The Browns addressed Manziel's status last week with a statement from Brown. McCown, at 36, showed he has plenty left in the tank with a solid 2015 campaign that was marred by a couple of injuries. In a backup role, McCown was a critical figure in the quarterback room, serving as an on-field mentor for Manziel and Davis. Shaw isn't to be counted out, either, as he'll be back after missing all of 2015 with a thumb injury. With the second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Browns are in an enviable spot if they opt to pick a quarterback. The Tennessee Titans, who hold the No. 1 pick, won't be in the market for a signal-caller after taking Marcus Mariota last year. Browns coach Hue Jackson and Hamilton both carry a strong track record of developing young quarterbacks.

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