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Johnny Manziel to remain Browns QB, Pettine says

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Johnny Manziel's faceplant in his NFL starting debut won't dissuade Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine from staying the course with the rookie quarterback.

Pettine announced Monday that the Browns are "moving forward with (Manziel) at quarterback."

After watching the game film, Pettine and his staff determined that the problems were more widespread than Manziel's utter ineffectiveness.

"We could've played Brian Sipe at quarterback yesterday," Pettine quipped, in reference to the 1980 NFL MVP, "and I don't think the outcome would've been much different."

Pettine believes Manziel has practiced at a high level, has "shown flashes" of potential, will improve in the final two games and still gives the Browns an opportunity to win.

Although Manziel's detractors are out in full force this week, Pettine emphasized that the sample size is too small to create any doubts about his first-round draft pick's chances for long-term success.

Starting two more games should provide the Browns with a better idea of Manziel's viability as a 2014 factor.

In the meantime, the Panthers and Ravens will count themselves lucky to be facing a raw rookie with their playoff livelihoods on the line over the next two weeks.

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