Manziel, Hoyer off limits to media at camp
CLEVELAND – We won’t be hearing from Johnny Manziel or Brian Hoyer again until training camp starts in late July.
Despite the presence of reporters from national media outlets at this week’s three-day minicamp, the Browns announced Tuesday that neither of the two quarterbacks would be made available for the rest of camp. Manziel last addressed reporters two weeks ago. Hoyer talked last week.
“I don’t think the message will be that different than it was before,” coach Mike Pettine said. “It was something in our rotation of things that we didn’t feel that it needed to be done.”
Reporters were anxious to ask Manziel about being selected in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres. There was also interest in finding out more about the party Manziel attended in Austin, Texas last weekend. He was photographed floating on an inflatable swan in a swimming pool and sipping champagne.
Pettine has shown patience in dealing with the NFL’s highest-profile player. Pettine, who told Manziel to act responsibly prior to a recent trip to Las Vegas, doesn’t feel he has to give the same message prior to each of Manziel’s trips.
“I told him he doesn’t have to come to me every time he leaves town,” Pettine said. “The philosophy here is we’re not going to micro-manage the guys. I was involved in an event this weekend if there were some cameras at certain times, it probably wouldn’t have been the most flattering. We had a good time, but we were responsible.”
BIG DAY: Receiver Anthony Armstrong was the star of Tuesday’s practice. He worked well with Manziel, including a catch on a pass of about 55 yards. Later he caught a deep pass from Hoyer.
Armstrong, 31, has experience with Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan while both were in Washington. In 2010 he was fourth among all NFL receivers with seven receptions of 40 or more yards.
“This offseason, after having no workouts, I was trying to pursue some form of a post-football career,” Armstrong said. “I looked into teaching and getting my math certificate, but then I realized I never took calculus or trigonometry. I still had that itch deep down to play.”
INJURY REPORT: Rookie guard Joel Bitonio has an ankle injury and will be held out of practices this week. He’s expected to be ready when camp opens next month.
Receiver Travis Benjamin is the only player who might not be ready when camp opens. Benjamin is coming back from a torn ACL.
NOT THIS YEAR: HBO tried to secure the Browns for its popular “Hard Knocks” series, but Pettine shot down the proposal.
“It was something I felt in my gut I didn’t want to be a part of in my first year,” Pettine said. “I saw the positive of it, but I think there are negatives as well.”
The proposal came before the draft. Now that Manziel is on the roster, Pettine believes HBO would love to have the Browns participate in Hard Knocks.
CAMPING OUT: All the quarterbacks are running the read option more than was the case early in OTA practices. Manziel opened 11-on-11 with two read option plays before connecting with Armstrong on a deep out Garrett Gilkey worked with the first team offense at right guard. John Greco was at left guard, where Bitonio had been lining up The two-minute offense is still a work in progress. Manziel opened on two-minute possession with a completion to Jonathan Krause to near midfield. The drive stalled when Manziel was forced to ground the ball under pressure on third and fourth downs.