- 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:
No official word yet, but it would seem likely that Johnny Manziel will start the second preseason game in Washington. Coach Mike Pettine said it was a possibility, but he added it “seems like a month away.” Much likely will depend on what happens Saturday in Detroit.
It was refreshing to hear Pettine say he would play his starters more than the usual limited time in preseason. For years the Browns have changed systems and players, given the starters little time together and then wondered why the offense struggled early. “You want to walk that fine line,” Pettine said. “You’re potentially putting guys at risk, but I think that’s the price that you pay. There’s no substitute for live game reps against somebody else. That’s the best tape to evaluate.
Brian Hoyer got his first scare on Tuesday when Paul Kruger fell on his surgically repaired knee. “It was more scary than anything else,” Hoyer said. “I went down and waited for some pain and there wasn’t any.” Hoyer reports no issue with his knee, and said he has several braces ready.
What better way to sum up Hoyer than with these words, from him: “Prepare to be prepared, regardless of the situation.”
Hoyer took the team to task for what he thought was a lackluster start to practice. “I think we kind of took a step back as a team,” he said. “I think we need to come out with a better sense of urgency because we have a long way to go. It’s the dog days of training camp; everybody has to deal with it. But we’re certainly not a team that can afford to take a step back.” He said as the quarterback, some of the responsibility for the poor start rests with him.
Tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) willl not play in Detroit. Free saftey Tashaun Gipson (knee) returned to practice and should play. ... Manziel got a big smile when someone asked him about Kyle Shanahan’s system having plays as long as 18 words. “I know we sit in the quarterback room and we kind of joke about the play calls being a little longer,” he said. “I don’t count the words,” Hoyer said. ... About rookie LB Chris Kirksey, Pettine said: “If you were an observer at practice and didn’t have a roster, you wouldn’t think he was a rookie.” ... Pettine continues to emphasize that both quarterbacks are playing to their skill set. That means Hoyer drops back and reads the coverage and makes the fast throw and Manziel runs around and tries to make plays by improvising. ... Pettine said of Manziel: “I think he’s been better than we expected from the pocket as well.”
Up next: The Browns have one final day of work before heading to Detroit, but Thursday’s practice is not open to the public.