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Johnny Manziel is Browns’ leading rusher, says that’s not the plan

johnnymanziel AP

Johnny Manziel was the Browns’ leading rusher in his preseason debut on Saturday night in Detroit, with 27 yards on six carries. But Manziel, who also completed seven of 11 passes for 63 yards, says he won’t be running that much every week when the real games start.

“Obviously, that’s not the plan for me to get that many carries every week,” Manziel said. “At the same time, the more and more I get better at progressions, the more and more I get comfortable with the play calls and the scheme and what we’re trying to do and pre-snap looks, the more and more I continue to get better over time. And less and less [running]. Hopefully that will weed out. The times I did take off, I felt I got out of bounds, slid and tried to protect myself the best way I could.”

Manziel made a couple of good plays with his feet, particularly a 16-yard run on third-and-8. But he also got stuffed for no gain when he tried to run on a third-and-1, and although he did pick up a first down on a fourth-and-1 scramble, he made it harder than it needed to be by choosing to run instead of tossing the ball to a wide-open fullback in front of him. Manziel was able to slide and get out of bounds at times, but he also took some hard hits. He didn’t sound overly concerned about that, though.

“It’s a football game. It’s physical,” Manziel said. “It’s part of the game, but I feel really good. I feel great.”

The Browns got two field goals out of three drives with starter Brian Hoyer, and one field goal out of four drives with Manziel. So neither quarterback did a lot to spark the Browns’ offense, and Manziel hasn’t done enough yet to unseat Hoyer as the starter. If Manziel is going to beat out Hoyer, he’s going to have to convince the Browns’ coaching staff that he can make plays with his arm, not his feet.

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72 Responses to “Johnny Manziel is Browns’ leading rusher, says that’s not the plan”
  1. doe22us says: Aug 10, 2014 9:42 AM

    He is a run first occasionally hit the open receiver second. He won’t change, just telling the media and the browns what they need to hear.

  2. MichaelEdits says: Aug 10, 2014 9:43 AM

    The AntiTebow Lives

  3. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 10, 2014 9:47 AM

    If and when he plays with the first offense, I think he will run the ball less. But running the ball is what Johnny Football can do real well. Excellent quickness and instincts.

    The question is can he keep from getting injured doing it?

  4. chc4 says: Aug 10, 2014 9:47 AM

    I was thoroughly unimpressed with Manziel. He looks like a deer in the headlights. Not totally understandable being his first game and all. But when you consider he was up against 2nd and 3rd string Ds. he certainly didn’t look a cut above everyone else.

    In the postgame, to hear Shaun O’Hara say on NFLN that he “could see Manziel grow and progress during his performance” is so absurd. What does that mean exactly? Apparently these networks will hire any meatheads that played the game. The analysis has gotten so bad.

  5. matt2calvin says: Aug 10, 2014 9:48 AM

    I had never seen JF play before this game. I’m a Lion’s fan and was really looking forward to watching him live.

    What a dissappointment…

    When he walked onto the field, he looked like a junior high kid standing next to grown men. He is short. He is thin. Of course he can change direction faster than the big boys – that is expected.

    But he obviously could not read NFL defenses. He never appeared to get to his second progression before he pulled the ball down and started to run. To me, that means he played scared.

    The most important point I wanted to make:

    The ESPN telecast was HEAVILY slanted to Cleveland, which propped up JF well beyond any other rookie. They were actually cheering him on and giving very slanted coverage. I also taped the game from the Lion’s station and watched that video (just the JF plays) immediately after the game. The Lion’s announcers were not impressed at all. You would think you were watching a different game and a different Cleveland QB.

    I understand why people may have a favorable impression when watching Cleveland’s announcers, but I would be willing to bet they will hear a different tune when the unbiased announcers call a real NFL game this season.

    JB did not appear to be even an average NFL QB, based on this game.

    Sorry Cleveland, you were sold a bill of goods…

  6. qdog112 says: Aug 10, 2014 9:52 AM

    Looking into my 8-ball, I see a long and promising career for Johnny Wildcat. 6 carries projects to 15 over the entire game.

    Who among us believes he can last running the ball 15 times per game against 1st team defenses? Ignoring open receivers to tuck and run, is his nature, because he doesn’t believe in his arm and because he is undisciplined.

    He doesn’t need a playbook because they’re 21 players on the field who have no idea what to expect on any given play.

    Did anyone see that cute little jump pass he threw to his RB. COMING SOON: Johnny Roadkill.

  7. harrisonhits2 says: Aug 10, 2014 9:53 AM

    Menzies had what, 6 drives and led the team to 1 field goal? Yet the media is gushing over their little darling.

    Hoyer is Pats/Brady trained and generally keeps his mouth shut. Mansfield is a clown act whose already given the media numerous stories and clicks with his off the field antics.

    Any wonder why the media is so desperate for Manziel to replace Hoyer?

  8. mazenblue says: Aug 10, 2014 9:56 AM

    Good one. If thats your style, I rather have Tebow.

  9. clownsfan says: Aug 10, 2014 9:57 AM

    I don’t care how he does it. Just win.

  10. themeccalambeaufield says: Aug 10, 2014 9:57 AM

    It’s official after the first round of games it appears “tiny hands” bustwater had the worst performance of all the young qb’s.

  11. Steeler Nation is so far above you and your lowly franchise. We built this league. Pittsburgh's three rivers are made from the tears of our opponents. Bow to your supreme overlords. says: Aug 10, 2014 10:04 AM

    One read, panic, and run.

  12. DaveKShape says: Aug 10, 2014 10:05 AM

    That fullback was wiiide open, and Manziel missed an opportnunity that was right in his field of vision. Or, did he choose to keep the ball for the glory play??? You’ve heard about him purposefully doing stuff like that at TAM.

  13. bucsorbust says: Aug 10, 2014 10:13 AM

    Give the kid a few more reps, and he’ll be as good as Brandon Weeden.

  14. bucsorbust says: Aug 10, 2014 10:15 AM

    He’s peaked. He’s a bust.

  15. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 10, 2014 10:19 AM

    Yeah this kid is simply for show. That was obvious when he did his stupid little money gesture after being picked, what was it 22nd? Not even the 1st qb taken. Not even the Browns first pick which you know just absolutely crushed his poor little ego. But let the media keep hyping this punk like he’s the 2nd coming of J.C. disappointment awaits all the sheep that love this miniature clown.

    NOT TO MENTION, HE WILLINGLY TOOK A PHOTO WITH JUSTIN BIEBER!!!! CMON MAN!!! WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE?

  16. cubano76 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:20 AM

    Dang! Lots of haters after one pre-season game. Lol

  17. juanweiner says: Aug 10, 2014 10:25 AM

    He is playing for the right team. The Clowns.

  18. redandgoldhitman52 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:30 AM

    not bad for his 1st pre season game in the NFL. browns fans should be excited. you guys found your franchise qb. i look forward to seeing the browns in the playoffs.

  19. harveyredman says: Aug 10, 2014 10:31 AM

    I don’t really like JF. I think he’s an entitled rich kid who got away with a lot of cheating and lying at TAM.

    That being said, he scored really high on the Wonderlic – he WILL learn the offense. The questions then becomes, can he change his stripes and go through his progressions instead of running.

    At barely 200lbs and running a very pedestrian 4.7 – he better learn quick that learning his progressions is his only chance to last in this league.

  20. deerhuntinfool71 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:31 AM

    For playing behind a second string oline and lesser recievers. I was impressed with his arm and accuracy. Go johnny!!!

  21. toad8572 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:32 AM

    It would be helpful to both Hoyer and JF if their receivers could catch!

  22. greenwave81 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:34 AM

    To you Manziel haters, the kid did amazingly well when one considers IT WAS HIS FIRST NFL OUTING and HE WAS PLAYING BEHIND THE 2’s. Add to that his college team did not run a pro-style offense. So he is being exposed to a ton of new stuff. For only having been on a NFL team since May, I would say he is doing fabulous. Give him time. I hate cliches but I will use this one just from grins — Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  23. peefrimgar says: Aug 10, 2014 10:36 AM

    It is utterly ridiculous to draw conclusions about someone’s career after ONE preseason game. If that was true, Brandon Weeden would be the second coming of Rich Gannon and Teddy Bridgewater would be the next Tavaris Jackson.

  24. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Aug 10, 2014 10:38 AM

    Johnny Manziel has a good first pre-season game, haters say “nothing special, it’s pre-season, he should be doing that.”

    Teddy Bustwater has a bad first pre-season game, those same people say “it’s only pre-season, he’ll step it up when it matters!”

    LOL contradicting morons.

  25. kwjsb says: Aug 10, 2014 10:41 AM

    The Browns receivers went a long way toward retaining their “Most Dropped Passes” crown.

  26. 4thquartermagic says: Aug 10, 2014 10:41 AM

    If he acted like “just another rookie” everyone would treat this like “just another preseason game.”

    Will be like this all year.

  27. qdog112 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:51 AM

    Bridgewater/Manziel comparisons are not fair. One is a QB, the other a circus act. 6 rushes in a tuck and run scheme is not what you want from a QB.

    Two themes have developed from the media. Manziel shines, Bridgewater struggles. None of which is true. I saw both games.

    But if you’ve been promoting a guy all offseason, you can’t abandon him now. Just pretend that leading your team in rushing is what a QB is supposed to do.

  28. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 10, 2014 10:52 AM

    Nothing but a spoiled little rich kid, and always will be, sadly.

  29. scorpio4840 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:55 AM

    The hype surrounding this kid is ridiculous. He’s small, runs first and he’ll get injured. Doesn’t take a genius to see that.

  30. wiseone50 says: Aug 10, 2014 10:56 AM

    Hoyer did plenty to spark the offense, but as usual the recievers dissapoint.

  31. dejadoh says: Aug 10, 2014 10:57 AM

    I think Johnny is great for the Cleveland Browns and the NFL. And unlike many of the running qbs in the league (how are they even in the league?), Manziel at least wants to run the play which is to throw the ball. With 2nd team offenses and 2nd team defenses as they are, it’s hard to get consistency (so plays will break down and he’s gonna have to scramble). Hopefully he doesn’t get killed doing it. He’s better than Hoyer, but needs time learning the reads and the 1st teams strengths and weaknesses.

  32. lionsdraftguy says: Aug 10, 2014 11:02 AM

    Hey everyone….Jay Cutler for MVP LOL LOL LOL

  33. pfu2 says: Aug 10, 2014 11:28 AM

    He will rush for 75-100 yards per game & his arm is much stronger & accurate than I expected. Browns had a great draft!

  34. brownsmakemecrazy says: Aug 10, 2014 11:37 AM

    Johnny did better than I expected. His arm is stronger than I thought and his accuracy was impressive. If anything Hoyer looked like the rookie and jittery with his passes sailing 5 ft over the WRs head.

    Johnny knows how to baseball slide so he’s got that down. Johnny is the better athlete and QB. The WRs specifically Miles Austin. Had a bad drop and looked slow.

    Johnny looked better with the second and 3rd string crew than Hoyer looked with the 1s.

  35. chc4 says: Aug 10, 2014 11:38 AM

    He did not do “AMAZINGLY WELL”. Unless of course your standards are unbelievably low and/or you’re so desperate for him to be good. Then again this is Cleveland.

  36. bengalskuta82 says: Aug 10, 2014 11:58 AM

    Run run and run. Yeah he wont last in the NFL

  37. MostlyRight says: Aug 10, 2014 12:01 PM

    He was no Logan Thomas yesterday, who missed on only one deep pass, got a TD, scrambled out of pressure but kept looking downfield and found his WR, and will be able to take a lot more hits than “Johnny Football” over an NFL career. And then there is the off field stuff. Good pick Cleveland!

  38. steves11 says: Aug 10, 2014 12:20 PM

    Manziel is a torn ACL waiting to happen.

  39. logicaldawg says: Aug 10, 2014 12:23 PM

    Browns fans are in a no lose here. We waited until the 20’s to get him, and with someone else’s pick.

    On the way down the draft we picked up another top 10 pick next year.

    Anything that JFF does for us is gravy. If we had drafted him 4th, a different story, so no real concern.

    In the meantime keep it coming haters.

  40. Truthopia says: Aug 10, 2014 12:27 PM

    Manziel should have been 9-of-11 and threw only one bad ball, this despite playing behind the worst protection I’ve seen in a preseason game so far this year. And if he wants to run, why not let him run? He saved at least 30 negative yards with his scrambling, and why is NOBODY mentioning his excellent game awareness, correcting the coaches twice and even the referees once? Stop hating a leader and a winner you fools.

  41. bucsorbust says: Aug 10, 2014 12:33 PM

    He can’t throw. He’s got to much freaking money in his hand.

  42. bucsorbust says: Aug 10, 2014 12:37 PM

    His first tendency last night was to run. If he doesn’t shake that, he’ll be on IR before the preseason is over. Frankly, I wasn’t very impressed. Bortles and the other new QBs way outdid him.

  43. truths4all says: Aug 10, 2014 12:43 PM

    All this proves is Cleveland DID NOT improve its pass blocking by the OL they do have and that they did not go out and find OL guys who can pass block.

    And this also proves the OL they have cannot really run block, hence the lack of a running game produced by its running backs.

    This bodes for another long, long season for the Browns fans who are going to find that the GM and the head coach wasted their off season on other stuff instead of building a solid foundation in their OL in order for the offense to run or pass properly.

    That also means the both Hoyer and Johnny Football will probably end the season on the IR with the team being QB’d by some poor QB stiff who is no where in the picture right now.

  44. jbeagles23 says: Aug 10, 2014 12:48 PM

    All this talk about him without mentioning his arm strength and accuracy. This kid has skill and its clear to see

  45. shalakka says: Aug 10, 2014 12:50 PM

    He won’t last in Kyle shanahans offense. Kyle is a terrible OC. As soon as Manziel came into the game the offense switched.
    Calling for a run play on 3rd and one.
    He almost got RG killed.
    Just give him time, if Manziel becomes the starter. Shananhan will get him busted up. Manziels not a pocket guy.

  46. cguy7 says: Aug 10, 2014 12:57 PM

    If you hated him before this article then I’m sure you didn’t view his performance in a positive fashion… Every play was a fire drill behind the 2nd string line. He exceeded my expectation in regards to arm strength, speed, and throwing accuracy. Hate to say it folks but your team’s front 7 members will not catch him if he has a step on you… Much faster game speed than his advertised 4.6 forty time… Sorry, but he just makes plays and moves the chains… Logan Thomas? LMAO! Scattershot accuracy. Any team that passed on him will regret that decision. Football player.

  47. isphet71 says: Aug 10, 2014 1:08 PM

    Feel free to be excited about the guy if you want, because he showed flashes and made a few good plays, but don’t look at this first preseason game as evidence to justify your excitement. It just doesn’t add up.

    It’s just a first preseason game, let’s not get ahead of ourselves one way or the other, and let’s also please call a spade a spade. 63 passing yards. 63. Against second and third string defensive players. How is this a good game?

    The Lions’ punter had a 65 yard punt. in 7 or 8 drives, Manziel didn’t pass enough to make that yardage back. Good game, though!

  48. mookfromcincy says: Aug 10, 2014 1:15 PM

    Steeler Nation is so far above you and your lowly franchise. We built this league. Pittsburgh’s three rivers are made from the tears of our opponents. Bow to your supreme overlords. says:
    Aug 10, 2014 10:04 AM
    One read, panic, and run.

    23 36

    I’ll only have one thing to say …. “Nerd Alert” ^

  49. imjusthereforthecomments says: Aug 10, 2014 1:35 PM

    When I first saw Vick play, I said he will never stay healthy, and it turns out I was right, and he is built a lot more like a running back.
    Johnny is gonna get killed if he keeps running the ball.

  50. punjab66 says: Aug 10, 2014 2:00 PM

    A screen pass where the WR/RB catches a lob at the line of scrimmage, makes a nice cut against 2nd/3rd string defenders who over-pursued and got @15 yards to set up fourth and one. Another 14 yd designed run where the middle was inexplicably wide open. JF made most of the plays he needed to make– that professional qbs are supposed to make– but there wasn’t exactly a high degree of difficulty on any if. That’s by design. Coaches keeping it simple and building confidence for rookie qbs is nothing new. It’s waaaay to early to start labeling him as boom or bust based one one skewed sample size.

  51. frenchysgoldfish says: Aug 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    Dear Browns,
    Johnny Football is a tremendous QB. I believe he should start in the opener. Please make sure he is running the offense in the first game.
    Signed,
    A Steeler Fan.

  52. jwf239 says: Aug 10, 2014 2:34 PM

    Something tells me that is not the first time he has said

    “Hopefully that will weed out.”

  53. essentialsausage says: Aug 10, 2014 2:38 PM

    It should be the plan. He’s a pretty mediocre QB without his running ability.

  54. bonniebengal says: Aug 10, 2014 2:49 PM

    It’s not the plan because Hoyer will be starting.

  55. shatho1 says: Aug 10, 2014 2:50 PM

    JF looks like a me first player. he had a wide open FB in his vision and decided to take the glory for himself. I’m glad that Dallas passed on this clown. hate on my comment all u want, but this is what JF is.

  56. bensstinkyfingers says: Aug 10, 2014 2:51 PM

    I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Football’s first appearance. Look for him to improves vastly every game, until he starts week one against the lowly steelers. He will defeat the steelers with his accuracy and running ability, which will be just way too much for the long in the tooth graybush steelers “d” . Manziel mania will run wild all season, as he leads the borwns to Afc NOrht itltle and playoffs, thus earning rookie of the year honors. Let the Dynasty come to fruition.

  57. warhammer420 says: Aug 10, 2014 2:52 PM

    He looked like a rookie QB. Blake Bortles looked much better. Though it’s just 1 pre-season game, so let’s not read too much into it.

  58. monsterscream says: Aug 10, 2014 2:57 PM

    “And less and less [running]. Hopefully that will WEED out.”

    what a pot head loser.

  59. bensstinkyfingers says: Aug 10, 2014 3:06 PM

    frenchysgoldfish says:
    Aug 10, 2014 2:26 PM

    Dear Browns,
    Johnny Football is a tremendous QB. I believe he should start in the opener. Please make sure he is running the offense in the first game.
    Signed,
    A Steeler Fan.
    ——————————————————
    In the words of James Hetfield – “Careful what you wish, you may just get it, careful what you wish, you just may get it. Browns 31 Steelers 17

  60. forgotaboutdray says: Aug 10, 2014 3:08 PM

    For those that actually watched the game, and didnt just look at the stat line-

    The 2nd string O-line got blown up almost every play. Manziel actually looked larger than I thought he would out there. He did pretty well IMO.

    Someone said something about a 4.7 40 as pedestrian- look at his cone and shuttle drills, quickness is more important than a straight 40 yard dash, he excels in quickness. If he can hold up physically, I think he can outplay hoyer.

  61. gary2525 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:20 PM

    New coaches same old outcome can’t get in the damn end zone. Field goals won’t cut it Cleveland

  62. apetits says: Aug 10, 2014 3:22 PM

    So what if he we was playing behind the second team O-line? He was also playing against the second- and third-team defenses – shouldn’t that even out?

  63. thelastpieceofcheese says: Aug 10, 2014 3:40 PM

    After watching last night’s Johnny Football’s performance, against players that will not even make the Lions team, I predict that his name will change to Johnny Bust.

  64. pfu2 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:42 PM

    So what if he was throwing the ball to guys that won’t make the team.

  65. pfu2 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:44 PM

    One of his missed passes hit the target WR, the WR wasn’t looking for the ball to come to him & immediately was pulled off the field for his rookie error.

  66. bluenose1965 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:50 PM

    Johnny Manziel really draws out the haters. The kid played decently and provided a level of excitement never seen in a Cleveland-Detroit pre-season game.

    Haters gonna irrationally hate I suppose. Good luck to him. As haters hate, my hope that he succeeds grows.

  67. footballrulz says: Aug 10, 2014 4:07 PM

    I don’t care if he turns out to be Joe Montana, Brett Favre & Terry Bradshaw rolled into one. Can we just stop talking about him for just a few days? Between here, NFL channel & the dreaded 4 letter network one would think that he’s all there is to football currently. He’ll make it or he won’t, he’ll be good or he won’t.

  68. qdog112 says: Aug 10, 2014 4:29 PM

    Meanwhile, Cardinals rookie QB Logan Thomas completed 11/12 passes for 113 yds & a td against Houston.

    THE BEST ROOKIE QB DEBUT, nobody knows about.

  69. mrfrostyj says: Aug 10, 2014 7:30 PM

    gary2525 says: Aug 10, 2014 3:20 PM

    New coaches same old outcome can’t get in the damn end zone. Field goals won’t cut it Cleveland.

    —————————————————-

    This is pre-season IE it doesn’t count. It was pretty obvious from watching that this game was about seeing how the QB’s handled different situations more than it was about winning. Especially with how solid the Browns ACTUAL running backs not named Manziel looked. That 3rd down QB run Kyle Shanahan called that Manziel got stuffed on at the end of the second quarter would have never gotten called in a real game. If either team was about the W I doubt Dan Orlovsky plays as long as he does either. How you can justify bringing him back to a team he helped go winless is beyond me.

  70. savior72 says: Aug 10, 2014 7:33 PM

    Hoyer. Manziel. Doesn’t really matter. The Browns will suck with either one. The debate is really about how much less they will suck with one or the other.

  71. Dogsweat says: Aug 11, 2014 12:20 AM

    Johnny Manziel= glorified Tim Couch.

  72. twelsh36446 says: Aug 13, 2014 9:12 AM

    Manziel won’t make it four games unless he’s sitting on the sideline. Playing against a 3rd and 4rd string defense got him clobbered a few times.

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