Pettine: Johnny Manziel 'inconsistent'

Updated: May 26, 2014, 10:00 AM ET
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com

BEREA, Ohio -- Brian Hoyer worked with the first team Wednesday at the Cleveland Browns' offseason practice, with Johnny Manziel up third.

The Browns followed through on the plan to make Manziel earn his spot, and on some plays during the workout, the rookie showed why.

"I just think just like any other rookie that he's inconsistent," Browns coach Mike Pettine said after the second day of the entire team being on the practice field. "I think a lot of it is the mental part of it. [Manziel] is more worrying about getting the formation right, making sure the motion's correct. Then he's got the cadence, and then he's got to worry about where guys are.

"Being good mechanically takes a backseat to learning the system first."

Manziel struggled at times with throws, though he did hit Josh Gordon with a nice pass in five-on-five. He also was able to escape the pocket to complete a couple passes, though the pass rush was no where close to full speed.

"You've got to build a foundation first," Pettine said. "I think we want him to learn the offense first. We know that when we get into live situations that he's going to be able to make plays. We're not going to try to coach that out of him.

"These are just basic, basic installs. Just trying to learn formations, trying to learn basic plays. I think there will be a time down the road for the stuff that makes him special, the improv stuff."

After the practice, Browns general manager Ray Farmer appeared on 93.2 The Fan in Cleveland and said that Hoyer currently is the better quarterback "by a substantial margin."

"

HoyerEveryone else has made it clear that it's not going to be just pushing me aside. Even going back to last summer, this is the place I wanted to be. ... I've said it a million times. This is my hometown. This is where my family's from. I want to make a difference in this program and this organization. I'll never shy away from competition.

" -- Brian Hoyer, on competing with Johnny Manziel for the Browns' starting quarterback job

Gordon took part in the entire practice as he awaits word on the suspension he faces for failing a drug test in the offseason.

"Until we're told otherwise, it's business as usual," Pettine said.

Gordon ran directly into the locker room after practice and did not stop when the media asked if he would speak. Manziel also did not address the media.

Hoyer wore a brace on his surgically repaired right knee, and took the first-team reps until 11-on-11, when the Browns put Tyler Thigpen on the field first and Manziel second. Hoyer took part later in full-team drills when he took snaps out of the shotgun -- he has not been cleared to take snaps from center so the team can protect his knee.

"Those guys are competitors and just knowing both of them, they're guys that both are going to want to be the guy out there on day one," Pettine said. "We wouldn't want them here if they weren't that way."

Hoyer said the only time he notices his knee is when the brace slips, and he said the coaching staff may need a "restraining order" to stop him from asking to do everything in practice.

"I'm going to press to the fullest and then they can hold me back," Hoyer said.

He added he "never" thought of asking to be released or traded after the Browns drafted Manziel.

"Everyone else has made it clear that it's not going to be just pushing me aside," Hoyer said. "Even going back to last summer, this is the place I wanted to be. ... I've said it a million times. This is my hometown. This is where my family's from. I want to make a difference in this program and this organization.

"I'll never shy away from competition."

But Hoyer also understands why Pettine said things will not be "warm and fuzzy" between him and Manziel.

"I don't think we're in there not being friendly," Hoyer said. "But I do think when you're gunning for the same thing, there is a little bit of an edge to it."

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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