Browns rookie first-round pick and NFL lightning rod Johnny Manziel took all the first-team reps during Monday's practice. But before you pencil him in as the regular-season starter know that this was the plan all along.
First-year coach Mike Pettine said that the temporary promotion "was not a result of anything that happened in the scrimmage," that Manziel and veteran Brian Hoyer will continue to share the first-team snaps, and that there's a "more than reasonable" chance that Hoyer starts the preseason opener in Detroit on Saturday.
According to the Associated Press, Manziel completed a 40-yard pass to Travis Benjamin on his first play of 11-on-11 drills, but moments later, Manziel's tipped pass intended for Josh Gordon was intercepted by Donte Whitner.
Manziel got all reps with ones. Didn't do much with them. Practices like this won't help him. Tho games more important too. #Browns— PatMcManamon (@PatMcManamon) August 4, 2014
In June, Pettine said that Hoyer was "securely ahead" of Manziel, but added that the lead wasn't "insurmountable." Last week, Manziel told reporters that his off-field activities wouldn't affect his ability to win a starting job.
Days later, team owner Jimmy Haslam weighed in on the matter.
"I don't want to wear this subject out,'' he said last Saturday. "Johnny said it himself. He made some mistakes. We expect better from him. I'm sure he'll perform now. We're anxious to see what he can do on the field, which is what really counts."
Meanwhile, Hoyer, who played well in three starts last season, already appears to have the respect of his teammates.
"He's a lot like Tom Brady,'' left tackle Joe Thomas said of Hoyer last Monday. "When you look at the way he competes and the way he demands the most out of everybody around him, it's no coincidence that those guys played together. (Hoyer) has a lot of those same mental attributes and that's a great thing for a quarterback to have.