Cleveland Browns quarterbacks Brian Hoyer, left, and Johnny Manziel drop back to pass during practice at NFL football training camp in Berea on Monday. associated press
BEREA, Ohio — Johnny Manziel understands his limitations as a rookie quarterback.
As he prepares for Monday night’s exhibition in Washington, a game that could decide whether he or Brian Hoyer start the regular season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7, Manziel said he’s still got a lot to learn.
“I don’t think I’m ready for Pittsburgh right now,” he said.
Manziel, though, was quick to point out that he’s made progress during training camp and expects to get better in Cleveland’s offense.
“I’ve only played one game, but the more and more you see it, the more you get familiar with it, the better it will be,” he said. “I think there’s guys who have played in this league for 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.”
Manziel and Hoyer will split time with Cleveland’s first-team offense against the Redskins in a game that is being hyped as a nationally televised matchup between Johnny Football and RGIII, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Hoyer, who entered camp as the No. 1 QB and has done nothing to lose his starting job, was unaware that he’s not part of the ratings campaign.
“I don’t watch ESPN, so until you told me that I didn’t know,” he said after practice today. “It doesn’t matter, because what matters is what coach (Mike) Pettine thinks and what (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) thinks. The media can make any story they want. I avoid all of that. When it comes down to it, they’re not the ones making the decisions.”
Pettine is determined to get Hoyer and Manziel an even amount of snaps against the Redskins. Pettine plans to meet with his staff and pick a starter Tuesday.
Although Manziel appears to be line to be Cleveland’s starter at some point in the future, Hoyer said he hasn’t “heard that” and is blocking out trade speculation that began when the Browns signed Rex Grossman earlier this week.
“I guess people were trying to connect the dots and that’s your job to do that,” he said. “For me, I’m not concerned about anything like that. I’m looking forward to being the starting quarterback here. “