Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan warned everyone not to count out rookie Johnny Manziel in his battle with veteran Brian Hoyer for the team’s starting quarterback job.
Although Hoyer has taken all the snaps with the first-team offense through the first five full-squad practices of training camp and Manziel has worked exclusively with the second unit, Shanahan insists the derby is a dead heat. Most observers believe Hoyer is clearly ahead at this point, but Shanahan isn’t going along with that narrative.
“I don’t think one’s any further in front than the other,” Shanahan said Thursday during a post-practice news conference. “I think they’ve both done a good job. As far as these five practices, it’s usually one day, one guy’s ahead of the other. The next day, the other guy does a better job. I think it’s been back and forth."
If Manziel wins the starting job this summer, he'll be an intriguing QB2 who should be available in the 10th-12th rounds given all the depth at quarterback. He has a good long-term situation brewing with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron in his receiving corps, and the newly-signed Ben Tate as a threat in the running game. (Gordon’s looming suspension is an obvious concern.) Manziel’s durability is a question mark given his propensity for taking chances by leaving the pocket.