In his first-ever training camp snaps with Cleveland's first-team offense, Johnny Manziel didn't wait long to make a splash.
The Browns rookie quarterback immediately unfurled a deep ball that sailed over the hands of Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden and into the arms of Travis Benjamin for a 40-yard gain, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
With veteran Brian Hoyer watching from the sideline, those were the only passes Manziel attempted during the first team period. We're bound to see more from the rookie in a quarterback derby that general manager Ray Farmer says will come down to "in-the-game performance," per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
Coach Mike Pettine said last week that the Browns would consider mixing and matching snaps and swatted down the idea of a change in the pecking order on Monday:
Pettine says Manziel getting 1st team reps "all part of the plan." @TonyGrossi specifically asks, did he earn them? Pettine: "no."â Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 4, 2014
Pettine told reporters that the team will continue to mix up its supporting cast in drills and give both quarterbacks a chance to work with the starters, Kinkhabwala told Around the League.
The coach reiterated that Hoyer would likely start Saturday's preseason tilt against the Detroit Lions, but the ultimate decision on who will start Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers won't be Pettine's alone.
The team will make that decision as a committee, with Pettine deferring to play-caller Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks aide Dowell Loggains, per Kinkhabwala.
We've felt all along that Manziel's chances to open the season boil down to how he handles himself in preseason action. If Johnny Football can dish out some of his patented playmaking ability between now and September, Hoyer's grip on the top spot is far from secure.