Be careful what you wish for.
Once the Browns had benched their starting quarterback Brian Hoyer during the Buffalo game, I had made it very clear that it was “Johnny Football” time and to start the first round draft pick the very next game versus Indianapolis.
But the Browns didn’t listen and waited until the following week and did it against a rival team that had been embarrassed on national television on a Thursday night back in November.
Not a good recipe for success, huh?
No, it didn’t go well for Manziel and the Browns this past Sunday — that’s for sure.
The good news for me is that I didn’t have to hear the audio of the game — only watch it.
I had gone out of town, and wasn’t sure the game would be shown in Findlay — so I taped it.
I didn’t force myself to have to watch it again.
There is no question that Manziel looked overmatched and made questionable decisions throughout the 21 minutes that the Browns offense was actually on the field.
But this was more than Manziel being bad. This was a team disaster.
The offensive line was terrible.
Manziel had no time to throw, and the Bengals rarely blitzed.
Dropped passes again by the receivers, and where has the pro bowler Josh Gordon been the last few games?
Two rookie running backs to hand off the football — uh, when they aren’t going one way, and Manziel is going another. We saw that a couple of times Sunday, didn’t we?
And Manziel doesn’t play defense, and who did for the Browns versus the Bengals?
The Bengals gashed them for like 500 rushing yards.
And wasn’t it Bengals running back Jeremy Hill, who had spouted off about the Browns not being very good, despite his team getting rocked on a Thursday night, not that long ago?
Sunday, he was right, and it was Hill doing the “walk” after all of his “talk” the last time - rushing for 148 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
Interesting that the Browns’ worst game of the season comes after conversations with many that this year Cleveland is at least “watchable” and had been competitive for the first time in quite awhile.
They weren’t Sunday.
But it is just one game.
I am glad they are sticking with Manziel the rest of the way.
At least for this season.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine has made it clear that he believes three games is a good gauge of being able to judge his rookie quarterback.
That was the timetable we had in judging Brian Hoyer as a starter before he was injured last season.
How did that work out?
Hoyer is not the answer, but I don’t know if Manziel is either.
I am not going to make that assessment after one game.
After a game in which the blame goes on the entire team — not just the rookie and overmatched quarterback — in what has become the worst loss of the season.
It is “wait till next year” again for Browns fans — but at least this time it comes in week 16 of the NFL season.
OTHER KOZA THOUGHTS:
• Waiting for Next Year blog co-founder Rick Grayshock with the stat of the day:
The Browns last win in December? Dec. 9, 2012, versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Not good!
• Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar ripped team management this week — calling them “uneducated” and “lack(ing) vision.” He said switching to rookie quarterback Manziel was a “recipe for disaster.” I love Bernie Kosar — from when he first figured out a way to come out of college and be able to play for his favorite team — to his actual performance on the field with the Browns. The Bernie Kosar years were the best years in my lifetime, rooting for the Browns. But I question the timing of Bernie’s comments. Why call out the front office now? Where was Bernie when the Browns were 6-3 and had just beaten the Bengals? Even the past couple of weeks, when the quarterback decision was being discussed by everyone — why wait and comment now? Kosar was taken off the Browns’ preseason telecasts this year.
Love Bernie, but the timing of it all seemed like “sour grapes” and “pouring it on” to me.