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Josh McCown takes over as Browns starting QB

Veteran Josh McCown will start at quarterback and Johnny Manziel will serve as the third option moving forward, Browns coach Mike Pettine announced Tuesday.

Pettine informed McCown and Manziel of the decision after he spoke with Manziel, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterbacks coach Kevin O'Connell after Tuesday's practice. Austin Davis will be McCown's backup.

Manziel started the previous two games in McCown's place and was named the team's starter last week. Pettine explained why he's altered that decision in the following statement:

"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 (John DeFilippo) and 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."

McCown last started Nov. 1, against the Arizona Cardinals. He's missed the previous two games with rib and shoulder injuries but said Tuesday he's feeling better after the team's bye week.

On the season, McCown is 165-of-254 for 1,897 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He set a Browns franchise record when he threw for 457 yards in Cleveland's overtime victory at Baltimore on Oct. 11.

"You want to get a win for our team, for the guys in the locker room and for the fans and the people that support us," McCown said. "The city has been awesome in how they support us and we need to put a good product out there and win the football game. That is my focus."

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