Monday saw rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel moving past Brian Hoyer on the depth chart. The move may make Manziel feel more like the first round pick that he is, however temporary it may be.
Training camp today marked the first chance for the new quarterback to get in some reps with the first team offense. Manziel also got his chance to pretend like the starter, at least for the day.
This move makes perfect sense in the evaluation of Johnny Manziel as a professional and allows for him to play with players who have a more firm grasp on the playbook. Today's practice is a way of evening the playing field for the quarterback competition with Brian Hoyer.
"It's just part of our plan, we said we were going to allow the quarterbacks to compete, at some point you've got to mix up the supporting cast a little bit. It's all part of it," said Browns' head coach Mike Pettine in regard to Manziel's first team practice.
Pettine says Manziel getting 1st team reps "all part of the plan." @TonyGrossi specifically asks, did he earn them? Pettine: "no."
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 4, 2014
Highlights of his performance was marked by ups and downs. Manziel was able to connect with wide receiver Travis Benjamin for 40 yards with Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden defending. Surprisingly, he had less luck throwing to a more gifted receiver and number 2 cornerback. Upon throwing to Josh Gordon, safety Donte Whitner was able to get his hands on the ball for an interception.
Joe Haden has seen the progression in Manziel even in the few weeks of training camp.
"He's becoming more comfortable," Joe Haden said. "You can see that he's finally starting to relax."
Comparing Manziel and Hoyer for the day gives a better view of the quarterback competition. Manziel was 6 for 17 while Hoyer went 11 for 22.
This is likely what we will see from Manziel in Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
For now it seems like Hoyer will remain the guy in Cleveland and if practice is any indication of his preseason play, he will continue to be for the foreseeable future.