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Browns hint at working Johnny Manziel into game against Chargers


Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo on Thursday revealed there is a package of plays tailored for Johnny Manziel ready to go for the team’s showdown against the San Diego Chargers. But DeFilippo stopped short of saying the Browns would actually run any of them.

“That’s always a possibility,” he said, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot. “To say we don’t have plays ready for Johnny Manziel against the San Diego Chargers, I’d be lying to you. OK? I’d be lying to you. So you never know. We may use them and we may not.

“That’s the competitive advantage of showing up and playing an opponent on Sunday. They don’t know what we’re going to do and we don’t know what they’re going to do.”

After Manziel stepped in admirably for a concussed Josh McCown in a 28-14 Week 2 victory over the Tennessee Titans, he was sent back the bench, much to the dismay of many Browns fans and allegedly a handful of players within the locker room, although some have come forward to vehemently dispute the notion.

Despite McCown’s early struggles in his Week 3 return, he did play well in the second half until a late interception sealed the Browns’ 27-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Still, DeFilippo held firm in the stance that McCown deserves to be the team’s starter.

“Josh is our guy,” he said, adding, “There’s no doubt in my mind” that McCown deserves the job.

That may in fact be the case, but the Browns arguably seem intent on manufacturing a quarterback controversy — even if they insist otherwise — by hinting that Manziel is at least being tangentially worked into Sunday’s game plan.

On the other hand, it all could be a clever act of gamesmanship on the Browns’ part.