We re-open the Cleveland Browns MailBag this weekend:
Pat McManamon: You're the first person to raise a very astute and interesting point. Yes, much has been good with Johnny Manziel since he left rehab. But in some ways the gushing over the good discards the challenge Manziel faces in his post-rehab life. We do not know for sure what led him to rehab, but we do know his lifestyle now requires a drastic change from what it was. That has daily challenges, as everyone who has been through rehab can say. Now ... if Manziel does maintain and does produce on the field the way he did in college, well that would have to be one of the great sports stories we've seen in years. Calling it "made for TV" almost does not do it justice. It would be that good.
Pat McManamon: I can't recall a single instance of a team building to lose for a future draft pick. NFL teams get 16 opportunities, and they want to win them all. There are cases where injury or attrition means a team is out-manned, but I can't say I've seen any not care about winning. Coach Mike Pettine firmly believes Josh McCown can be a winning quarterback if he is surrounded by a good defense and a run game. He has not said it directly, but the move from Brian Hoyer to McCown indicates the team believes it can win more than the seven games it won last season with this approach. The team clearly is in the minority on this belief. Many, including me, don't see it happening. But that does not mean they aren't trying.
Pat McManamon: A coach many years back once told me: "It's always about the money. Any time they say it's not about the money, it's about the money." So this is about the money. Based on the way this has dragged out, I'd guess Tashaun Gipson's side is pointing to the deal Devin McCourty signed with New England. That paid him $47.5 million, $28.5 million guaranteed and included a $15 million signing bonus. I'm thinking the Browns don't see Gipson as worth that money. It will work out in some way, shape or form, because Gipson needs one more year to hit unrestricted free agency. The two sides will either work out a long-term deal, or Gipson will sign the one-year tender and head toward free agency in 2016. When that happens is anyone's guess.
Pat McManamon: The Browns have been very vague about the specific scheme, except to say they will keep elements of the zone run scheme. We in the media will get a look at it Tuesday during practice. As for what player would benefit, I'm going with Isaiah Crowell. He seems to be an explosive runner who can make people miss. The Browns won't pass the ball a ton this season, but they will run a lot. Crowell stands to gain.
Pat McManamon: Well ... ummm ... yes they will. Barring a great training camp from Manziel, McCown will be the quarterback.
Will Ray farmer be scouting Cardale Jones June 5th when he throws at Progressive Field? #BrownsMail— mike shifley (@mike_j_64) May 21, 2015
Pat McManamon: Excellent question! If he's not, some serious questions need to be asked. And if he has a great two-seam fastball, the Indians should be watching as well.
Pat McManamon: I honestly think not much. I think their desire was to find guys who will be dedicated to the team and to the game, and would respect the game. Being excited about the team and city that drafted them seems to go along with those traits. The fact they are good players who can contribute is the most important trait. Character matters as well. But guys with character usually will embrace the team that drafts them.