Z Files: Timing is everything for Manziel, Pettine

Z Files: Timing is everything for Manziel, Pettine

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Timing is everything in life, and a few people benefited from the timing of Johnny Manziel's promotion on Tuesday.

The obvious beneficiary is Johnny himself, who not only gets a vote of confidence as a starting quarterback for the first time in his NFL career, but hits the bye week with a little added incentive to, you know, behave himself while he's out of town (not to mention, put the Instagram photos on hold).

Manziel said as much on Tuesday, when he admitted he promised Mike Pettine that he wouldn't "do anything that is going to be a distraction to this team or be an embarrassment to the organization".

But another beneficiary is Pettine himself, who with one swing of the depth chart managed to completely take the attention, if not the pressure, off himself. Remember, this is a head coach who seemed willing to do anything to avoid playing Johnny.

Who would have rolled out a 70 percent Josh McCown if it meant not playing (rewarding?) a 100 percent Johnny Manziel. And all it took was 372 yards against the Steelers to change his opinion? An opinion Pettine clung to for a season and a half?

This isn't to say I don't think Johnny should start the rest of the way. Of course I do. He's dynamic, mobile (somewhat of a necessity with this team) and a potential franchise quarterback. I'm just focusing on the timing. Manziel was just as dynamic against the Titans back in Week 2, and that wasn't enough to keep him in the starting lineup, and possibly write a different ending to this now-destroyed season.

Now Pettine turns to Manziel, and while we eagerly await Johnny's next flashy move, the spotlight completely shifts away from a head coach who's lost 13 of his past 15 games.

Then there's the NFL, whose timing could not have been better. A few hours after the Browns announced that Manziel would start from here on out, the league announced there would be no discipline for Johnny's domestic dispute in Avon a month ago. Did the NFL tip the Browns off prior to Pettine's announcement on Tuesday? Is that what the head coach had been waiting for, before making this move? It sure would have looked bad to promote Johnny, only to watch league officials sit him back down again.

Maybe it is as simple as this: the Browns are 2-8 and heading into a bye week. It's a great time to make a change. And this change may be the only change that garners as much attention as a coaching change. That change didn't happen. But, of course, timing is everything.

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