LANDOVER, Md. — Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer didn’t make Mike Pettine’s decision any easier. Good luck picking a starting quarterback after this mess, Coach.
Manziel struggled to hit open receivers and added another gesture to his repertoire — a middle finger apparently aimed at the Washington Redskins’ bench — while Hoyer completed only two passes in five series. Neither the hot-shot rookie nor the nondescript sixth-year veteran looked ready to claim a No. 1 NFL gig, failing to live up to the big-time setting of a final audition in the Cleveland Browns’ 24-23 Monday night loss to the Washington Redskins.
Pettine has said he plans to announce his regular season starter Tuesday. His choices are Manziel, the No. 22 overall pick in the draft who completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and an touchdown, and Hoyer, who was 2 for 6 for 16 yards.
And those stats were padded by series against the Redskins’ backups. In the first quarter — when Washington’s starters were in the game — Manziel was 2 for 7 for 29 yards, while Hoyer was 0 for 2. Manziel was even mocked by Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, who raised both hands and performed the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner’s “money” gesture after a sack by teammate Ryan Kerrigan.
Manziel appeared to have a message of his own for the Redskins. He raised the middle finger of his right hand as he jogged away from the Washington sideline after a play late in the third quarter.
To be fair, the first two passes by Hoyer could be classified as drops by his receivers, but he also failed to move the team when an interception gave the Browns the ball at Washington’s 15 in the second quarter.
- Monday’s drills were just another step in New England Patriot and former Wildcat Rob Gronkowski’s progression to playing without restrictions less than eight months after knee surgery.
“If I’m ready to get out there, I’m ready to get out there,” the Gronkowski said Monday after his first contact drills in training camp. “It was just little routes and stuff, but (I’m) feeling good, progressed a lot out there doing routes versus the defense.”
He did that in 11-on-11 drills for the first time and expects to step up his activities today.
- Arizona Cardinals starting defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was taken off the field on a cart after injuring his right knee at training camp on Monday.