AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Johnny Manziel was back in his element: on campus, in a stadium on a Saturday.
Cleveland’s rookie quarterback, whose electrifying scrambles and how-did-he-do-that passes made him a college football star, showed off some of those dazzling skills as the Browns held a scrimmage at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.
Manziel and Brian Hoyer continued their quarterback competition in front of 20,673 fans, who didn’t see much scoring but got a chance to see Johnny Football in the flesh.
Manziel and Hoyer both had good and bad moments, and their battle to be Cleveland’s No. 1 starter remains too close to call.
Browns coach Mike Pettine didn’t want to analyze every pass, but he felt both QBs were efficient in moving their units.
“You saw Johnny, I saw what you guys saw,” Pettine told reporters. “He made a couple nice runs, made some nice throws. Where most quarterbacks would step out of bounds, he got two completions there. And I thought Brian, especially in that first series, converted some third downs and was poised in the pocket. He stepped up and made some throws.”
Manziel worked exclusively with Cleveland’s second-string offense during the unscripted scrimmage, which began earlier than expected and was cut off a little early with threatening weather in the area.
Manziel made a crisp 14-yard completion to fellow rookie Willie Snead to convert on fourth down. Manziel also had an apparent touchdown pass dropped by wide receiver Charles Johnson in the end zone.
Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said the competition remains close and the coaching staff was waiting for one of the QBs to “take off.”
Manziel unofficially finished 3 of 7 for 14 yards and had three runs for 23 yards. Hoyer went 7 of 11 for 56 yards.
Browns Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron sustained a shoulder injury early in the scrimmage. Pettine said Cameron was held out as a precaution.
Also, Pettine said starting free safety Tashaun Gipson is expected to be back at practice next week after suffering a minor knee injury in Friday’s practice.