Pettine Remains Tight-Lipped on Starting QB vs. Steelers
It’s never too early or too late to start the mind games when it comes to the AFC’s longest-standing rivalry. Every meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, regardless of standing, comes with some added vitriol, and this week is no different.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine refused to announce a starting quarterback for Sunday’s game, with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweeting that Pettine “won’t name a starter to maintain competitive advantage” and that “he knows who’ll start Sunday.”
Still, most Clevelanders except Johnny Manziel to get the start for the second straight week. Josh McCown continues to battle a rib injury and has been listed as “questionable” for this week, giving him a 50-50 chance at best of suiting up on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh listed Ben Roethlisberger as “questionable” as well, but the situation there appears to be more clear-cut. According to Steelers quarterback Mike Vick, who has also seen time as a starter this season, Landry Jones will “definitely” start, and Vick will be the backup.
Should both of those situations remain unchanged until Sunday afternoon, it will mark the first time Manziel and Jones will have squared off since the 2013 Cotton Bowl, when Johnny’s Aggies blew out Landry’s Sooners 41-13. Two years and a lot of big differences later, the two young bloods will be playing for team pride and a wild card spot, respectively.
The plan from Cleveland camp is obviously to make the Steelers prepare for both McCown and Manziel, two signal callers with vastly different styles. At 2-7, it’s one of the few trump cards the Browns still have left to play before yet another season devolves into disappointment and disrepair.