<
>

Browns expect Johnny Manziel to play in preseason game Saturday

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns expect quarterback Johnny Manziel to practice Wednesday and play in the team's third preseason game Saturday night in Tampa Bay.

"I think we have a pretty good feel that just a day's rest will be enough," coach Mike Pettine said. "If it's not, then we'll deal with it accordingly."

Manziel did not throw at practice Monday due to a sore elbow, but he did not need an MRI, Pettine said. The Browns say they have little concern that Manziel has any long-term elbow problem.

"Johnny's probably got what 30 to 40 percent of the other quarterbacks in the league have right now," offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said.

DeFilippo said the team's trainers believe rest and maintenance can take care of the issue.

"And once training camp's over and the volume of throws goes down, usually that has a way of clearing up itself," DeFilippo said.

The Browns also will address some of Manziel's mechanics.

"He does change his arm angle a lot, and quarterbacks that tend to drop their elbow on some throws will have a tendency for this to happen," Pettine said earlier Monday during an interview with ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike.

"You see him three-quarter at times and sometimes that puts a lot of pressure on the elbow and the shoulder," DeFilippo said. "I wouldn't say it's the wrong way to throw the football, because I've seen a lot of successful quarterbacks throw the ball like that.

"That's part of the reason that Johnny can get the ball out of his hands so fast. He's got that whip release. But at times, yeah, that will put a lot of stress on your elbow."

The mechanics combined with the high volume of throws in training camp led to the elbow soreness, DeFilippo said.

In evaluating Manziel in general, DeFilippo said he's "a new guy" in terms of understanding protections, defenses and play calls. But Pettine stressed on Mike & Mike that the Browns will take it slow with the second-year quarterback -- especially since he spent 10 weeks in the offseason at a Pennsylvania treatment center.

"When you think about Johnny, he's made some great strides," Pettine said. "But this is a guy [who] less than five months ago was in a very dark place, personally, and he's come out of it and responded in a very positive way and where he is now personally has helped him professionally.

"I think the natural tendency might be to rush things. We feel we're in a good spot with Josh [McCown]. He's a capable starter in this league when he's surrounded by the right supporting cast."

Though Pettine declined again to name McCown the Week 1 starter, he and DeFilippo said there is no reason to change the depth chart that has McCown starting and Manziel the backup.

"[McCown] has done nothing to warrant that we can't trust him to be the leader of this offense, that we can't score points with him," DeFilippo said. "I think Josh has shown that he can demonstrate all the skills needed to be a starting quarterback in the NFL."