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Johnny Manziel Camp Daily: Aug. 10

8/10/2014

 

A day-by-day and honest look at Johnny Manziel's first training camp with the Cleveland Browns:

THE WORK: The reality of Manziel’s situation is that he really only has three opportunities to win the Browns quarterback job -- barring a decision that he’s the future so he should play right away. Those chances come in the first two preseason games and the team’s scrimmage, with weight given to the games. Manziel was pleased with his efforts, his reads and his overall play Saturday against Detroit. Which makes sense. He’s taking this steps at a time while the rest of the world wants an immediate answer to a ton of questions. It doesn’t always work that way. Against Detroit, it did not seem like Manziel hurt himself (no interceptions, quickness, able to move around, stepped into a few throws from the pocket), but it also did not seem like he helped himself greatly. He made some plays, but he missed some plays. (Bypassing Ray Agnew on fourth down to run produced the desired result, but Agnew was right there. Earlier he ran after not throwing an open slant that was in front of him.) Manziel was playing with backups, but he was also playing against backups while Brian Hoyer played against starters. (In short, that argument is a wash because it’s simply the situation.) Manziel obviously has ability and brings excitement, and his practices prior to the game were strong, but Kyle Shanahan said that at some point one of the two quarterbacks would step up and seize the job. Neither did that -- though on balance, if forced to commit I’d say Hoyer played a little better. But Manziel is the rage and the buzz and all that kind of stuff. This may come down to how the Browns view the position. Is Hoyer the incumbent who has to have the job snatched from him? Or if it’s even do they favor Manziel because they believe he’s the future? Do they believe they’ve seen the best of Hoyer and that Manziel will get better? Or do they believe Hoyer’s experience is essential, especially in the first three games? Add the fact that both played with receivers who missed catchable balls (including Josh Gordon in the end zone from Hoyer) and neither turned the ball over. This competition seems as tight as it was before the game started.

GOOD THROW: It took some time for the Browns to simply put Manziel under center, and when they did he responded with a play-action slant that was right on the money to Taylor Gabriel. Manziel dropped, planted and threw -- just the way it’s supposed to be.

BAD THROW: It wasn’t that Manziel made bad throws, but there were a couple times he had an open receiver on what looked like a good route but bypassed the throw to run. Manziel was very open about admitting he needs to grow in reading defenses and progressions so the runs become fewer, even to the point of saying he’s happy he has three more practice games.

THE WORD: “They both did some things that more suited their skill set. I think Brian was high on a couple throws. I think he would want those back. He threw a couple of other nice balls in there. I thought Johnny did some nice things from the pocket. When he got out, he created a little bit as well.” -- coach Mike Pettine after the game.

START CHART: On a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being Manziel certainly starts the opener, we'll take a look at his chances as he goes through camp.