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Tough day for Manziel
July 27, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND – Rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel had a rough second day of training camp Sunday.
While Brian Hoyer was sharp and decisive with his decisions and throws, Manziel struggled to develop consistency. Manziel made a few decent throws on slants and speed outs, but many of his passes were off target. Some observers felt that Manziel’s body language told the story of his frustrations.
Neither player was available for comment after the session. Coach Mike Pettine cautioned against making rash evaluations after each practice.
Manziel had a better showing in his first practice on Saturday. He seemed to settle into a comfort zone as the practice continued and was completing nearly every throw by the end of the practice.
There could be plenty of reasons for the poor second day. It was day two install, which meant piling more information and demands to what he worked on during the first session. Manziel is also working with the second team offense, although there were times when receiver John Gordon lined up with the second unit.
It will probably become clear as camp progresses that Manziel is best when he’s allowed to freelance and create on the run. That’s what he did best at Texas A&M, where he enjoyed some incredible performances in two seasons as a starter.
Everything that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is installing now is structured, which means plenty of throws from within the pocket. Shanahan is expected to include plays designed specifically around Manziel’s elusive skills in the future. We might not see that until the entire offense is in place.
In the meantime, Hoyer could open a large lead in the competition to start the opener in Pittsburgh. He entered camp as the clear frontrunner, and nothing has happened in two short days to change that situation. Pettine is on record as saying Hoyer will likely start the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.
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