Manziel desperate to keep starting spot

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is desperate to remain as a starter but his coach has refused to commit to the idea.

Manziel was one of the few bright spots for the Browns after they were thumped 31-10 by unbeaten AFC North rivals the Cincinnatti Bengals on Thursday night.

The former first-round draft pick dropped to 1-3 as an NFL starter, including 1-1 this season, as the Browns were beaten for a fourth consecutive game to move to 2-7. 

Manziel completed 15-of-33 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown, with his passer rating at 71.3, while he also ran four times for 31 yards.

"Yes, absolutely," Manziel said when asked if he can keep his place as the starting QB. "We get a few days off now to refresh and get a break … come back, watch the film and then get ready to go for the following week."

Manziel started in place of Josh McCown on Thursday, with the veteran still struggling with a painful rib injury suffered against the Rams last month.

Head coach Mike Pettine said he would make a decision on his starter when McCown is available again: "When we get in and get back from this time off, we will assess what pool of players are available and go ahead and make those decisions from there.

"This will be a good time to step away and reassess where we are moving forward."

As for Manziel's performance, Pettine added: "I thought he did some good things, but I just thought in the second half, especially after we fell behind, he was just trying to make too many big plays instead of just taking completions."

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