Akron, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel struggled during the Cleveland Browns’ Saturday intra-squad scrimmage at University of Akron.
Playing with the second team, Manziel started sloppily before leading the offense on a 16-play drive that nearly led to the day’s only offensive touchdown.
Manziel had a slant dropped at the goal-line by Charles Johnson and saw Gary Barnidge ruled out of bounds in the back corner of the end zone on a nearly perfect pass.
Most of Manziel’s plays came as he scrambled, scampered and improvised in a scrimmage where quarterbacks were protected.
He made it work in the scrimmage but it remains to be seen if Manziel can make it work in a game when the other team is going all-out.
“For me, it gets better every day,” Manziel said. “That’s really the story of my life right now. I have to get better. Learn the stuff, continue to get more and more familiar with every single play in our offense, and today helped.”
While he wasn’t making any instant evaluation, coach Mike Pettine noticed that Manziel made plays with his feet the way he did in college.
“You can see that’s going to be a strength of his, and some of the completions he made on the run, that’s playing to his skill set,” Pettine said.
Last year’s starter, Brian Hoyer, was 7-for-11 for 56 yards in team drills while Manziel finished was 3-for-7 for 14 yards with two runs for another 14 yards. Hoyer had three team drills while Manziel had two.
“They both did some really good things, and they both did things they would want to take back,” Pettine said.
After scrimmage, Manziel refused to even address where he stands as far as competing with Hoyer for the starting role.
“There’s no gap that I’m looking at right now,” Manziel said. “It’s know the playbook, know everything. There’s still so many little things here and there that can throw a play and change a play, and a defensive look.”