Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was a mixed bag in Thursday night's preseason win over the Bears, but his peak plays against Chicago were enough to keep the rookie in the conversation for snaps against the Steelers in Week 1.
"It's something we'll discuss," Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters after the game. "I don't know if that's necessarily something just because of tonight. We'll have discussions on how we want to game plan and how we want to use those guys. I think one of the reasons that Brian (Hoyer) and the first team did look better tonight is because we didn't mix the reps and he got all the reps with the No. 1s. A big part of tonight was getting those guys playing together and getting that cohesion."
Pettine has reversed course more than once on how Manziel will or won't be used come September. With so little firepower on offense, Cleveland is pulling every lever available to keep the Steelers on their toes. We doubt coordinator Dick LeBeau is kept up at night after seeing Manziel throw for just 4.9 yards per attempt during his 6-of-17 night against Bears' third-stringers.
Manziel also ran for 55 yards and showed more of the creativity that makes him a fascinating project under center, but Johnny Football looks miles behind the likes of Blake Bortles down in Jacksonville.
We'll see the rookie in a subpackage if only because he's one of the few playmakers on this post-Josh Gordon outfit. Unless the Browns get mistake-free football from Brian Hoyer, though, Cleveland threatens to float through the autumn as a bottom-five attack.