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Johnny Manziel ‘absolutely’ wants to hold on to starting job

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In a performance Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine called “inconsistent,” Johnny Manziel nevertheless showed flashes of what made him a first-round draft pick in a 31-10 loss to the still-undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. And the second-year signal-caller not surprisingly said he “absolutely” wants to remain the Browns starting quarterback.

“Yes, absolutely,” Manziel said after the game when asked if he hopes to hold on to the starting job, via ESPN. “We get a few days off now to refresh and get a break … come back, watch the film and then get ready to go for the following week.”

After a solid first half performance that was capped by 10-play, 92-yard touchdown drive, Manziel sputtered in the second half, going 4-of-15 for 40 yards. Overall, Manziel was 15-of-33 for 168 yards.

“I think there were some good things done in the first half, but there’s two halves for a reason,” Manziel said. “I did some good things tonight and some things I wish I could have back.”

The Browns really weren’t expected to come out on top Thursday night over a vastly superior Bengals team, but Pettine nevertheless believes the fact that Manziel forced things a bit during the second half didn’t help matters.

“I thought he did some good things, but I just thought in the second half, especially after we fell behind, he was just trying to make too many big plays instead of just taking completions,” Pettine said.

The Browns’ next game isn’t until a week from Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, so incumbent starting quarterback Josh McCown will have plenty of time to recover from a painful rib injury. Pettine was noncommittal when asked what the Browns intend to do at the quarterback position, saying the coming week-plus provides the team a “good time to step away and reassess where we are moving forward.”

Regardless of how things proceed going forward, Manziel remains hopeful he showed enough for the Browns to keep him on the field.

“Yes,” Manziel replied when asked if he can do the job if he remains the starter. “I think things slowed down a little bit.”