When Johnny Manziel was at Texas A&M, he regularly made the highlight reel as a result of plays that couldn’t be drawn up by any coach who was trying to convince his players that he knew what he was doing.
Manziel made another play like that in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Titans. With the Browns up 21-14, Manziel avoided a rush from Brian Orakpo, spun, rolled to his left and then fired the ball back to his right where Travis Benjamin was open for his third touchdown of the day.
Coach Mike Pettine called it “vintage Manziel,” although we haven’t seen much of that from him at the professional level. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo had a more self-referential take on the play.
“Certainly wasn’t the way the play was designed,” Pettine said, via Cleveland.com. “I think Flip had the best line of the day on the headset after he rolled out of it, ended up throwing backwards across the field, scored the touchdown. He just says real calmly while everybody was cheering, he said ‘coaching is overrated.’ They did a nice job, brought pressure. We didn’t pick it up. Johnny did a nice job getting out of it and finding Travis and making a play.”
Pettine said Sunday that he wasn’t getting into the question of who would start once Josh McCown gets cleared to return after a concussion, but Manziel’s outing, which featured a more traditional strike to Benjamin for another touchdown, will make the call more difficult for the Browns.