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Mike Pettine: There's no rift in Browns' locker room

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Coach Mike Pettine's decision to sit quarterback Johnny Manziel against the Raiders in favor of veteran Josh McCown did not sit well with many fans of the Cleveland Browns.

Every game, all season

Or with some of Pettine's players, if you choose to believe a flame-throwing report from TMZ.com, which claims to have spoken with three anonymous Browns starters who lobbied hard for Manziel to play against the Chargers in Week 4.

Asked point-blank about the story by Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer, Pettine replied: "I've said all I'm going to say on that."

This came after the coach announced that he was "confident there's no rift in the locker room" over his choice to stick with McCown. 

"We've talked to the team periodically about media policy and that if you go on record, put your name on something," Pettine said. "As far as multiple players being off the record, we talked to them about it, but that's not something I'm concerned with."

Said Pettine: "I know it makes for good copy and clicks outside of here, but given the veterans that we have in the room and being on the inside and talking to the players constantly and getting feedback of other coaches and other players and getting a sense of the pulse of the locker room ... I'm confident that this is not an issue."

Pettine noted that he and his coaching staff employ an "open-door policy" for any player with questions about the depth chart.

McCown is widely respected inside the locker-room, but any team with season-long concerns under center is ripe for anonymous chirping or made-up stories about anonymous chirping or on-the-record chirping from angry fans and writers tired of the decades-long ghost ship that is the Browns.

As for Manziel, we're going to see him back on the field sooner than later if McCown fails to ignite this moribund offense.

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