The Cleveland Browns created some buzz when they decided to start first-round pick Johnny Manziel off as a third-stringer in name by having him work out with the third-string players in individual drills, but most people saw through this as just a ploy by the organization to send Manziel a message that he’ll have to work his way from the bottom. This isn’t some novel concept, of course, as other teams have done this with rookies pretty regularly, and the move mainly created buzz because Manziel is such a big name.
Today, the Browns decided to “promote” Manziel to second-team in individual drills,and he worked out with the first-team in 11-on-11 drills, per ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi. The Browns are sitting veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer out for 11-on-11s due to his recovery from an ACL tear, as they are easing him back from the injury. That makes this nugget notable because of the Hoyer perspective; the Browns clearly value him and are doing whatever they can to ease him back.
Hoyer vs. Manziel will be a full-blown quarterback competition throughout the offseason, and every single tweet regarding their performances will be examined in an effort to gauge where Ray Farmer and Co. are leaning. Of course, the Browns might just make this competition a formality and simply choose between philosophies instead: benching a quarterback helps more or actually learning on the job is more beneficial. For what it’s worth, Grossi praised Manziel for his work in red zone drills (he added that Hoyer lined up in the pistol in those drills, which is an interesting nugget in the offensive strategy department), as well as a pass over Buster Skrine.