Pettine Suggests Johnny Manziel’s ‘Middle Finger’ Will Play Role in QB Decision

Vincent Frank
Written by Vincent Frank

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel didn’t necessarily have himself a great second preseason outing on Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins. After completing just 7-of-16 passes and flipping the bird at the Redskins sideline, Manziel continued to draw criticism a day later for both his play and actions on the field. 

Now Browns head coach Mike Pettine seemed to admit that Manziel’s on-field actions, which were a sign of frustration, may in fact play a role in the team’s quarterback competition. When asked whether Manziel flipping off the Redskins sideline will be a factor in his decision to name a starter, Pettine responded (via

We’ll take into account all things quarterbacks A to Z, so it’s a body of work,” Pettine said on a conference call. “It’s everything from the time they set foot in the building back in the spring up until today.

This is now bordering on ridiculous. Sure Manziel might have made a mistake and showed some immaturity by flipping the bird, but this isn’t something new to the NFL world. We have seen the likes of Jay Cutler, Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick, among others, act out against opponents on the field. Was Richard Sherman’s postgame tirade after the NFC Championship against the 49ers a sign of immaturity? What about Brady following officials into the tunnel following a game last season?

Sometimes passion gets the best of a player.

In Manziel’s case, he was being openly harassed by Washington defenders the entire game, including an incident where Brian Orakpo stood over him flashing the Money Manziel sign after a hit. Was that immature on Orakpo’s part?

Manziel’s shouldn’t start Week 1 for numerous reasons, but not a single one of those reasons should be him acting out against the Redskins on Monday night. While Pettine didn’t directly say that it would play a major factor in the decision, he should have shot it down immediately. The last thing the Browns and Manziel need is more of a media circus. And he just guaranteed that, especially if Brian Hoyer is named the starter at some point soon.

Photo: Fox News

About the author

Vincent Frank

Vincent Frank

Editor-at-large, Sportsnaut.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Rumi