Johnny Takes Over the Ones: Training Camp Notes 08.04.2014

Johnny Manziel running the first team offense

Johnny Manziel running the first team offense

Johnny Manziel running the first team offense

Johnny Manziel running the first team offense

It’s Browns camp, and no surprise, everyone’s talking about quarterbacks! As per usual, Mike Pettine didn’t want to talk too much about today’s QB performances until he got a chance to talk to position coaches and check the tapes—after all, you can’t judge passers if the receivers are running the wrong routes. I appreciate that about Pettine. It’s not so much about avoiding the question as it is a reality of trying to take in everything that’s happening in front of him on a day-to-day basis.

Let’s talk about the rest of today’s happenings via bullet points.

  • Story of the day of course is that Johnny Manziel was taking snaps with the first team. This would be an especially remarkable thing if he all of a sudden looked amazing and never looked back. That was not the case. Manziel struggled with the first read and then struggled with accuracy from the pocket. He does look night and day better when he’s on a bootleg or otherwise on the run. It’s disconcerting to see him struggle with short routes and reads from the pocket though.
  • Brian Hoyer didn’t look much better. Over the first week of camp, he seemed well in rhythm and under control during all the drills. In the QB competition, he appeared to be the veteran. That wasn’t the case today. All day long it felt like the defense was getting in lanes and even when something was open, it was off time or off target.
  • Josh Gordon was at practice, but ducked out early (shortly after 11:00 a.m.) in order to participate in what Pettine called “that process” which he had no update on. That process is never-ending, it seems.
  • Let’s just say the crowd was a little bit subdued for much of today’s practice. Defense wins championships, but it doesn’t win the hearts and minds of training camp audiences. Training camp audiences love to see high flying catches and long touchdowns, even if they come at the expense of, say, Joe Haden.
  • The crowd did get a little defensive lift out of Donte Whitner catching an interception that came off the hand of Johnny Manziel via a deflection by the corner. It was a clear force by Manziel and the defense made him pay.
  • Haden got sick and tired of the crowd silence as he took to high-fiving the first row after a nice pass breakup on a timing route to the sideline.
  • Jason Pinkston was around, but obviously not on the field. Coach Pettine indicated that they don’t picture Pinkston playing anytime soon and that there might be clarity at some point.
  • Reid Fragel went down at one point in practice today clutching his right leg. He had been going up against Jabaal Sheard and eventually walked off under his own power.
  • Mike Pettine wouldn’t comment on if the Browns thought Michael Bowie would miss significant time after the team picked him up off waivers from the Seahawks. Bowie is due to arrive in Cleveland this afternoon for a team physical.
  • As the quarterbacks struggled, I found it remarkable how much the Browns worked on running the ball. The Browns were 27th in rushing yards per game in 2013, and if I had to guess, they’ll work especially hard to obliterate that this season with Ben Tate and Terrance West. I haven’t seen this many hand-offs since Peyton Hillis was still in camp.

That’s all for today’s day in camp. I’ll have more tomorrow about undrafted wide receiver Willie Snead who continues to make an impression in camp. Also see some more of the pics from camp below.

 

Josh Gordon tosses the ball back after catching a ball during drills

Josh Gordon tosses the ball back after catching a ball during drills

Joe Haden and Jim Leonhard cover Jonathan Krause

Joe Haden and Jim Leonhard cover Jonathan Krause

  • 6thCity

    Here’s hoping we score more points off interceptions than our opponents do off ours. I have a feeling Browns games will have a lot of both this season.

  • MrCleaveland

    I didn’t think it was THAT quiet today. I’ve heard less noise before. But you got to have a reason to cheer, and the boys looked kind of ragged today. There were dropped passes all over the place, especially by Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins.

    Craig, do you know what the orange jersey challenge was today? And do you know what perks they get for winning the orange jersey?

  • cmm13

    “you can’t judge passers if the receivers are running the wrong routes.”

    I call BS on this; are Johnny or Brian not allowed to make a second read in camp? did all 3 receivers and the TE on the play run an incorrect route?

    “He does look night and day better when he’s on a bootleg or otherwise on the run.”

    so what you are saying is that when he cuts off half his options and allows defenses to zero in even more he is more comfortable? that may be the case in camp but not so much in game day.

  • mgbode

    hopefully, our secondary makes all QBs look as poorly as I keep reading ours look in camp (though with the receiving options, very well may not all be on QB)

  • BenRM

    I’m a single mom and I made $7907 in a few wee….

    Sorry, wrong comment section…

    YAY Footballs!

  • bossman09

    As a counter thought –
    Receiver is running a timing route (ball is thrown before the break) and the recieve looks like he will be open and the apex of the route. QB throws the ball and the receiver A) goes one yard long/short, B) breaks 0.5 seconds early/late C) breaks the wrong direction. This is a situation where the QB made the right read and the receiver ran the wrong route resulting in an incompletion. We saw the opposite of this 1,000 times with Weeden. Receiver ran a great route but weeden waited until after the break to throw the ball so the passs was broken up or intercepted. QB and Receiver have to be on the same page.
    The point of a bootleg is usually to leverage misdirection created by a play action. While the result is only having 1/2 a field to throw too, you’re supposed to only have one or two defenders to worry about. It worked like magic when the Redskins played Cleveland in 2012.

  • cmm13

    Good counter points,
    Allow me to retort…

    Manziel went an “unofficial 1-7″ today in passing attempts; 6 failed timing routes by receivers seems a little much.

    My understanding of the bootleg is that it is considered a “timing call” and is to catch the defense leaning or in a lull. Not something to be run on every play as seems to be what Johnny needs in order to have success.

  • tony

    Receiver ran a great route but weeden waited until after the break to
    throw the ball so the passs was broken up or intercepted. http://www.feefreetickets.com QB and
    Receiver have to be on the same page.