Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine says “it’s fair to say” that Josh McCown is the favorite to start at quarterback going into training camp
McCown signed a three-year deal in March to try to solidify the position after Johnny Manziel spent the better part of three months in a rehab treatment facility. Pettine also says that the team didn’t try to trade up for Marcus Mariota, even though it had two first-round picks in the draft.
"Josh has proven in the right circumstances that he can be successful,” Pettine told 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. "I think it was pretty clear to us when we looked into the results of what happened for him a year ago that a lot of those circumstances were outside of his control that made the year as difficult as it was.”
Last week, Pettine said he was not going to start "penciling in" guys at positions.
The Browns did not select a quarterback in the draft, and Pettine says he understands that the need for instant gratification when it comes to the quarterback position.
McCown went 1-10 as a starter last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finishing with the second-worst passer rating in the league. Manziel lost both of his starts during his rookie season for Cleveland, which was last in the NFL with 12 touchdown passes.
The other two quarterbacks currently on the roster, Thaddeus Lewis and Connor Shaw, have played a combined eight NFL games in their careers.
"I believe in our team, I believe in building the team, I believe in our coaching staff and it's on us to find ways to win consistently even if people perceive us as having a less-than-stellar quarterback room," Pettine said.
- Scooby Axson