SPORTS DAILY: Can Johnny save Browns football?

Let’s hope Browns coach Mike Pettine didn’t waste too much time on whether to name Johnny Manziel his starting quarterback.

The move should have been as obvious as the coach’s bald head.

Browns fans now have something to watch for the next six games, maybe even a reason to buy a ticket. Suddenly raking leaves, cleaning the gutters or spending time with the kids have lost their allure, I’m betting.

Because, admit it, even if you’re not a Browns fan, whatever happens with Manziel, you want to see it.

You want to see if Sunday’s better-than-expected performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a tease, a fluke, a preview, etc.

You want to see if Manziel can stay healthy for the rest of the year and answer those nagging durability questions from which a quarterback his size can never completely escape.

And you want to know if there’s the slightest chance the Browns won’t have to use a top-five draft pick on whatever stab-in-the-dark franchise quarterback is out there.

Get used to the name Paxton Lynch. He plays for Memphis. You’ll be hearing that name more often than a FanDuel ad over the coming months.

And Pettine, of course, wants to see if anything Manziel does can keep him off the unemployment roll, where he is surely headed if the Browns don’t find some answers.

According to this story, demand for Browns tickets is at its lowest point since 1999 and they can be had for preseason prices on StubHub and elsewhere.

Somebody needs to inject life into the 2-8 Browns before literally nobody cares anymore. Who better to reverse the trend than a flawed former Heisman Trophy winner trying to rehabilitate his name and his game?

I can see Manziel becoming a huge fan favorite. Who doesn’t like a redemption story, right?

Or I can see him being booed out of town once and for all.

That’s drama. That’s why you watch.

And it’s a pretty good excuse not to rake the leaves.

Flyers played Alabama at just the right time

Good win for the Dayton Flyers over Alabama on Tuesday afternoon, but let’s not get too carried away.

Alabama was picked to finish 13th in the SEC preseason poll, ahead of only Missouri. The Crimson Tide went 19-15 last season, 8-10 in conference play, which led to the firing of coach Anthony Grant, the former Dayton player, after six seasons.

So it’s a program starting over with a new coach in former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson. Let’s just say UD could not have picked a better time to play Alabama.

Not that the Flyers can’t compete with just about anyone. I think they can. But Alabama isn’t what you would call a high-level program at the moment, power-five conference pedigree aside.

Then again, Dayton could have gone the Ohio State route and picked on Grambling State, identified as the worst team in the country — there are 351 Division I teams — by KenPom.com.

At least they didn’t dip that low.

After the game, Texans were still beating Dalton

So Andy Dalton didn’t like J.J. Watt making fun of his nickname?

I never knew the Bengals quarterback particularly cared for the nickname in the first place.

In case you missed it, after the Houston Texans knocked the Bengals from the unbeaten ranks Monday, Watt, the defensive end who looks like he was molded in a laboratory, said the goal had been to “come out here and make the ‘Red Rifle’ look like a Red Ryder BB Gun.”

Dalton said he was “disappointed” in Watt’s remark. Instead of addressing it, he should have ignored it and focused on how the Bengals became the first 8-0 team in about 80 years not to score a touchdown in their next game.

At least that’s what the fans seemed to be focusing on as they rained boos from the stands.

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