By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Notes, quotes and observations from Browns training camp Day 16 …
* Johnny update: Johnny Manziel continues to have a very healthy perspective on his first rookie camp despite the hullabaloo surrounding his competition for the starting job. “I don’t think I’m ready for Pittsburgh (on Sept. 7) right now,” he said on Saturday. “I’ve only played one game. The more you see it, I think the better it’ll be. I think there’s guys who have played in this league a long time who can sit there after years and years of playing games and still don’t have it all figured out. It’s tricky stuff. That’s not saying that I’m not ready or won’t be ready. I don’t want that taken out of context. It’s just right now, second preseason game, I’m not ready to go out and start Week 1. There’s a lot of time left until that point. There’s plenty of weeks for me to learn, to get adapted to the speed and if I was the starter for Pittsburgh Week 1 you have to be ready. It’s a big game.” Therefore, he says, he feels no pressure to perform on Monday night in what will be the crucial game to determine the Week 1 starter. “The chaos, the talk, the hype, the over-reaction, the over-analysis, has been from the day I won the Heisman when I was a freshman to that spring, to that fall, to the draft, to now. It’s been the one thing that’s been the most constant in my life for the past two years. So I don’t even pay attention to it anymore. It never even fazes me.” What about seeing all the fans wearing his jerseys and seeing all the network promos hyping him? “When I got drafted, from the top to everyone involved, they had a plan for me and they want me to be successful. Whenever that is, I feel my future is here. And they brought me in to hopefully be the future down the road. So for me, there’s no pressure, no timetable. It’s continue to develop as a football player, get smarter, get better, and whenever that time is, then I’ll go out and play football like I’ve been doing for the past years of my life.”
* About that fine for being late for a meeting: Manziel confirmed he misread a schedule for a 7:30 a.m. meeting on Monday and arrived at 8:15, which was the usual meeting time throughout camp. “I sat down with coach (Mike) Pettine and handled it and we’ve moved on. Obviously something I just need to do a better job of reading the schedule the night before, but an honest mistake,” Manziel said.
* Hoyer update: Brian Hoyer said he was unfazed by all the hype surrounding Manziel, all the netwook hoopla about the rookie, and also the speculation of a Hoyer trade after the Browns signed Kyle Shanahan-devotee Rex Grossman. “I guess people were trying to connect the dots,” Hoyer said. “That’s your job. For me, I’m not concerned. I’m looking forward to being the starting quarterback for this team.” Regarding ESPN’s tireless promotion of the Monday night game as “RG3 v. Johnny Football,” Hoyer said: “I don’t watch ESPN. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t matter. Because what matters is what coach Pettine thinks, what Kyle thinks. So the media can make any story they want. When it comes down to it, they’re not the ones making decisions.” What about Pettine’s strange comment on Friday that the starter selected for Game 1 shouldn’t think it’s a permanent job for the season? “It’s a situation I dealt with last year when I came in and we kind of said it was a week to week thing,” he said. “I just want to be the starting quarterback of this team whatever the situation is.”
* Buster screened: Cornerback Buster Skrine may need surgery on an injured thumb and will be sidelined the rest of the preseason. “We think he should be available for the opener,” Pettine said. The injury affects two positions. The starting job fairly obviously will go to rookie Justin Gilbert. The nickel back (covering slot receiver) would go to Isaiah Trufant, but Trufant missed practice Saturday with a knee injury. Pettine said if Trufant can’t play on Monday, he would use a third safety in nickel situations against the Redskins.
* Brownie bits: As camp officially closed on Saturday, the annual rookie show, an NFL training camp rite still thriving, was scheduled for the night. Manziel said he and fellow rookie QB Connor Shaw had something planned to try to give the veterans a good laugh … Pettine said he hoped to chat with Redskins coach Jay Gruden in advance to get a feel for his substitution plans. Pettine wants to make sure Manziel is exposed to some reps against the Washington No. 1 defense so he may have to adjust his plan of giving Hoyer the first two series. It might be changed to one for Hoyer and then one for Manziel, and then alternate the rest of the first half … Defensive end Desmond Bryant might need surgery on a wrist injury, pending a second opinion, Pettine said … Receiver Josh Gordon (abdominal) returned to practice but his game status is uncertain … Pettine said newly arrived quarterback Rex Grossman probably won’t see action against his former team but would play in the third preseason game in FirstEnergy Stadium against the Rams ... A full-scale brawl erupted after offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz shoved linebacker Justin Staples from the back. Pettine was so upset he made the entire team run sprints before resuming practice.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Use the hashtag #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to email@example.comFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
Return to: Grossi Stories Blog