The coach has remained steadfast in his decision to bench the troubled quarterback and according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on NFL Network's *GameDay First *on Sunday morning, it has some with knowledge of the team's thinking wondering: Is Pettine simply trying to "exert his presence," and prove he's in charge?
Per Rapoport, there is a chance we see Manziel again this season, perhaps as early as next week when the Browns take on the 49ers in Cleveland. Manziel was initially named the permanent starter following the bye week, but that title was revoked after photos and videos of the quarterback partying surfaced after the bye.
Though it is largely dependent on current starter Austin Davis, the thinking is that Cleveland will more than likely close the season out with Manziel. Davis could take the team on his shoulders with a surprising performance against the Bengals this Sunday and along with it, validate Pettine's decision to keep Manziel on the bench. Davis is 26 after all, and played well in stretches for the Rams a year ago. Brett Favre once likened him to fellow undrafted quarterback Kurt Warner.
Either way, it seems as though the relationship between Pettine and the rest of the organization is not quite as simpatico as we're led to believe. When a team is this universally unhappy with a player, you often hear about a potential cut or trade. If Manziel's attitude is this detrimental in the eyes of everyone, why is he still on the team?
Unfortunately, Browns fans are once again bearing the weight of all this. For yet another season, the team seems to be hopelessly confused at quarterback with little relief coming down the pike. If there is indeed a power struggle, we should find out in a few weeks who had the upper hand.