- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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BEREA, Ohio – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Cleveland Browns training camp:
The offense has a ways to go. When the starting unit gets three possessions, the backups two and the threes one and the defense produces more points and a guy named Jacobbi McDaniel is mentioned for knocking a pass in the air that is intercepted and for returning a fumble following another interception for a touchdown then the offense needs work. The Browns have two quarterbacks who have a combined four NFL starts competing in a complex offense with long play-calls. The best playmaker (Josh Gordon) was in New York appealing an NFL suspension. The second-best playmaker (tight end Jordan Cameron) left after the first series after getting his shoulder “banged.” The quarterbacks said they have to keep getting better. As Vonnegut might say, so it goes.
It’s a never-ending story for the Browns prompted by constant change in coach and system. Players each and every year have to step into a new system, learn new plays and try to adjust to a new approach. For the Browns it’s three coaches and three offenses in three years. While the Browns are learning a completely new system, their rivals in the AFC North – Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati – are working with the same quarterback, same plays and same offense. It’s tough to try to catch up each and every fall.
With Gordon gones, Miles Austin stepped in to the top spot, made three catches and would have had another big play had Hoyer’s pass not been tipped at the line by (wait for it … ) McDaniel. Austin has strength, size and hands, and he is almost obsessed with his precision. The concerns with Austin are his hamstrings, but if healthy he has proven he can play.
Free safety Tashaun Gipson missed the scrimmage after spraining his knee on Friday in practice. Coach Mike Pettine said Gipson should miss only a few days. … Cameron was held out after the first series as a precaution, Pettine said.
Manziel said Thursday that he always has done better in games than practice. That was certainly true in the scrimmage, as Manziel had his best day. … As for Manziel’s scrambling, Pettine said this: “We’ll have to pick and choose those times. Maybe not as frequently. Because defenders at the NFL level are faster and better short-area quickness than maybe the guys he went against in college. Probably he’ll have to learn it as he’s going.” … The best player on the field for the Browns? Cornerback Joe Haden.
Up next: The Browns have Sunday off and will return to the practice field on Monday at 9:30 a.m. in Berea, Ohio.