Johnny Manziel still needs to prove self to Mike Pettine

Johnny Manziel will start for the Browns on Sunday afternoon against the Steelers, but for yet another week, he is not guaranteed a thing once the game is over.

Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, coach Mike Pettine doesn't think Manziel has earned it yet, and that's a sentiment shared by plenty of people inside the Browns' facility. Over two starts this year, Manziel was part brilliant and part contained. He beat the Titans and lost to the Bengals.

This report should not come as a surprise for anyone who has followed Manziel throughout his career, though.

Manziel went a long way in the organization's eyes after completing a stint in rehab this offseason, but he did surface in some photos down at Texas A&M the weekend after he made his last start against the Titans. It's the same one step forward and one step back broken record that seems to have underscored Manziel's tenure in Cleveland. On one hand, he single-handedly re-energized a fan base that hasn't seen a quarterback this exciting since -- gulp -- Tim Couch. On the other, he's been just as frustrating, perhaps even more so.

As we've noted in previous posts, Manziel is 22, and is every bit a 22-year-old. Josh McCown is 36. He's seen it all, he's learned how to handle it.

There have been quarterbacks like Manziel who have succeeded in the league, but Manziel -- fairly or unfairly -- is under a microscope bigger than any of his predecessors. And in that spirit, there have been some instances which were not handled correctly.

That's why the Browns will wait. They will wait because they can. Squarely out of the playoff picture, their 2-7 hole actually buys them a half season's worth of patience. The job will be Manziel's once he's ready.

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