Rex is in effect for the Browns
CLEVELAND – Tyler Thigpen’s tenure with the Browns was short-lived.
The quarterback was waived Tuesday to make way for 11-year veteran Rex Grossman, who has 47 career starts in stops in Chicago, Houston and the last four with the Washington Redskins. Grossman is familiar with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s system from his time with the Redskins.
“We appreciated what Tyler did for us, but we felt we wanted to get Rex in here to see where he was and what he could do,” coach Mike Pettine said.
Thigpen made the training camp roster after a tryout competition with Vince Young last May. He played late in last Saturday’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions and looked shaky – 3-of-12 for 38 yards and one interception.
Grossman is at the stage of his career where he’s best suited as a mentor to a young quarterback. He worked with Robert Griffin III during his rookie season of 2012, and now his task is working with Browns rookie Johnny Manziel.
“I’m just going to practice and play and get better and see where I’m at,” said Grossman, who didn’t participate in practice Tuesday. “If anyone has questions or I feel the need to help out, then I will. I haven’t shied back from that in the past. I’m here to help.”
SHARING TIME: Pettine indicated that his plan for Monday’s preseason game against the Redskins could include splitting reps with the first team between Brian Hoyer and Manziel. He doesn’t seem to like the idea of rotating series between the two.
A decision as to which of the two will start will be made during the player’s off day on Thursday.
CHANGING SPOTS: The depth chart remained the same this week with the exception that rookie free agent Ray Agnew is listed as the lone fullback. Marqueis Gray was listed at fullback last week but is now fourth on the depth chart at tight end.
Agnew (5-foot-10, 247 pounds) played at Southern Illinois University and is the son of former Patriots defensive lineman, Ray. Agnew is thrilled to be playing in Shanahan’s fullback-friendly system.
“I’ve been the underdog wherever I’ve been,” Agnew said. “A lot of people assume that I’m not because my dad played in the NFL, but I’ve been an underdog ever since high school.”
NEEDS WORK: Rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert returned to practice after missing time with a groin injury. The first-round draft choice needs work to keep pace with Buster Skrine in a battle for a starting spot.
Gilbert admitted it was difficult watching last Saturday’s game.
“It was, but it gave me a good feel being on the sideline seeing the guys I’ve been practicing with finally get into live action,” Gilbert said. “Hopefully next week I can be out there with them.”
CAMPING OUT: Manziel’s best throws are when he stays in the pocket and goes over the middle. He powered a pass on a crossing route to Travis Benjamin, who was between two defenders. The receiving corps continues to look shaky. There were plenty of drops or high throws that receivers couldn’t pull down. There’s no one the starting quarterback will be able to count on if Josh Gordon is suspended. Cornerback Joe Haden opened 11-on-11 drills with the best interception of camp as he jumped high and pulled a Manziel pass from the grasp of receiver Anthony Armstrong. Out with injuries were receiver Nate Burleson, defensive end Billy Winn, Gordon, linebacker Darius Eubanks and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant. … The defense won another challenge, which was a fourth-and-1 end around to Miles Austin that was stopped short of the marker by Haden.