Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo isn’t sure if recently demoted quarterback Johnny Manziel will be active for the team’s game against Baltimore on Monday. However, DeFilippo won’t rule out Manziel playing again this season and is encouraged by the second-year man’s on-field progress, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
“I like what I’ve seen,” said DeFilippo. “I really do. Even the jump he made from the Cincinnati game to the Pittsburgh game was a huge jump. I think we’d all agree on that. I think Johnny has played enough football where we know what we have in him.”
DeFilippo went on to state that he believes Manziel can still be a franchise quarterback, which looks unlikely for a player whose career has been defined by off-field problems and on-field inconsistency. To his credit, Manziel did have the best game of his short NFL tenure – a 33-of-45, 372-yard showing in a Nov. 15 loss to the Steelers – before the Browns benched him for poor conduct away from the field.
Now the latest from the NFC North:
- Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah helped make Thanksgiving 2015 a miserable one for the Eagles in a 45-14 shellacking on Thursday. The third-year man tortured Philadelphia for 3.5 sacks, giving him an NFC-best 11.5 for the season. Ansah said afterward that he drew motivation from the fact that the Eagles passed on him in the 2013 draft, per The Associated Press. Ansah wanted to be an Eagle, but they chose offensive tackle Lane Johnson fourth overall instead. Ansah, who went to Detroit one pick later, faced off against Johnson on Thursday and got the better of the matchup. “It felt very good beating him and getting to the quarterback,” Ansah said.
- Given the Bears’ recent resurgence, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com wonders whether defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will join offensive coordinator Adam Gase as a potential head coaching candidate in the offseason (Twitter link). After a rough start to the season that featured four losses in six games, the Bears are 3-2 since their bye week. Fangio’s defense has played a key role, giving up fewer than 15 points per game during that stretch. That includes stymieing rival Green Bay in a 17-13 road win Thursday.
- If Gase departs in the offseason to become a head coach, he likely won’t be able to take quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains with him, according to Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report (via Twitter). Loggains is under contract next year and would likely be the Bears’ choice to take over for Gase.