Jared Mueller

Browns Scrimmage: McCown, Manziel Stand Out

The Cleveland Browns had their Orange and Brown Scrimmage, named after this site we are sure, tonight in Ohio Stadium. Tons of notes, quotes and interesting tidbits from the night that was in our Scrimmage Notebook.

 COLUMBUS—It was only an intra squad scrimmage but the quarterbacks came to Columbus to play.

The current top two quarterbacks combined unofficially for 12-of-17 for 165 yards with three touchdowns in front of 49, 734 fans at Ohio Stadium.

Josh McCown took the Browns right down the field on his first series on 11-on-11 with the first team. Starting at their own 30, McCown started with a 14-yard pass to Travis Benjamin.

After a batted down pass by Paul Kruger, McCown hit tight end Gary Barnidge for 48 yards to the 10-yard line. On the next play, McCown hit Brian Hartline for a 10-yard touchdown. 

“We did some good things we feel the offense can build on,” McCown said. “We had good solid work for us and had a chance in the red zone.

“Any time you can go out the first time in a new offense in front of a crowd, it’s good to get out there.”

On the first drive, McCown was 3-of-4 for 72 yards and a touchdown. 

Hartline was excited to catch a touchdown pass back at his alma mater.

“I’ll openly say I didn’t expect it being how cool it really was, but it was really cool,” Hartline said. “It was a great opportunity, a great throw and I’m glad I could make the play. That was about the end of it. Again, I’m going to keep doing it all week and all camp, keep putting those days together.”
On McCown’s next series starting at the defense’s 25, he threw two incomplete passes and Travis Coons kicked a 47-yard field goal. McCown finished 3-of-6 for 72 yards.

Mike Pettine was pleased with McCown.

“That is what he has been doing in practice,” Pettine said. “I am glad he was able to carry it over into this type of environment. I think Gary Barnidge is very underrated. He just does his job and makes plays. I think Josh showed off his athleticism a little bit on the roll out. He outran (Paul) Kruger and then threw the strike.”

Johnny Manziel came out and tried to throw a deep pass to rookie Josh Lenz on his first play. Lenz appeared to slow down as the pass went incomplete. After picking up a first down on an eight-yard pass to Lenz, Manziel was sacked by rookies Nate Orchard and Danny Shelton forcing a punt. Manziel was 2-of-3 for 12 yards and a sack on the first series. 

“We came out with guns blazing and almost threw an 80-yard touchdown on the first play we just missed it,” Manziel said. “I thought Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) did a good job of dialing up some plays. We had the three-an- out, but after that we got the score and that was what we wanted to do.”

Manziel threw his first touchdown on his next series.

Starting at the defense’s 25, Shaun Draughn ran three times to move the ball to the four-yard line before Manziel hit rookie tight end E.J. Bibbs for a touchdown.  He was 1-of-1 for four yards and a score on the drive and then was 1-of-2 for 12 yards on his next series. 

Manziel saved the best for last as he was five-of-five for 65 yards on his final series hitting Lenz for an 18-yard touchdown to cap the drive.

“Me and Josh (Lenz) have had a good chemistry throughout training camp,” Manziel said. “I really trust him and put it on his back shoulder. Both those touchdown drives, Bibbs made a heckuva catch and did a good job. That’s the way I wanted to finish the day. That was big time, especially moving it and completing every pass.”

Manziel unofficially ended 9-of-11 for 93 yards with two touchdown passes.

“I thought I made some good throws today in the pocket,” Manziel said. “Not like some of those games last year where I tried to escape (the pocket).  When we’re hot were’ hot and we know it. Like I said, feeling comfortable is a good thing”

Manziel was pleased with his progress.

“It’s good,” he said. “I wouldn’t make a huge deal out of it but it’s progress for me. I’m happy about it and happy about stringing some good days together.”

Pettine was  also impressed with Manziel’s play.

“The thing that jumps out, he is much less antsy in the pocket,” Pettine said. “He sets his feet, which you really didn’t see much last year. He is trusting his reads. I thought he placed the ball – I thought his location accuracy was good tonight.”

Connor Shaw and Thad Lewis also took reps in the scrimmage, but failed to get the ball in the end zone.

Pettine said he thinks the team is confident in all of the team’s quarterbacks.
“I think that’s any team,” he said. “I think our guys just feel so positive about not just Josh but the quarterback room. To me, it’s any team.”

 Manziel did not get reps with the first team because of the injury situation according to Pettine.

“When we went through the depth chart at the end with guys who were nicked up and not able to go, we just couldn’t get them both enough reps,” Pettine said. “It’ll happen in the preseason game, but the way we were depleted with injuries and being cautious with guys, there was just no way to do it without putting other guys at risk.”

Haden, Mack Held Out: DB Joe Haden was held out of the scrimmage with what Pettine called “muscle tightness”.  DB Justin Gilbert worked in his place and made a nice play breaking up a pass in the end zone intended for WR Brian Hartline. Gilbert injured his wrist on the play, but continued in the scrimmage
Pettine said Haden was held out as a precaution. OL Alex Mack was also held out of the scrimmage, but Pettine said he was “good to go”. OL Ryan Seymour took his place with the first offense.

DB Pick: Undrafted rookie free agent DB Landon Feichter intercepted a pass from QB Thad Lewis on Lewis’ first pass attempt to WR Shane Winn.

Undrafted Rookies Impress: DL Dylan Wynn had back-to-back sacks on QB Thad Lewis, while WR Josh Lenz caught several passes, including an 18-yard touchdown pass from Manziel. TE E.J. Bibbs also caught a touchdown from Manziel.

It’s every year you get some off-the-radar guy that shows up. Those are some of the [guys],” Pettine said. “E.J. Bibbs again, he made some plays, and the guys that you mentioned. We saw something in them to bring them here and a lot of that is credit to (General Manager) Ray’s (Farmer) group that can find those guys, whether it’s after the draft or wherever we acquire them from, and they can come here and be productive.”

Big Leg: K Travis Coons hits two field goal attempts in the scrimmage from 47- and 53- yards out. 

The other K Casey Spear kicked during the intermission.

Pryor Returns: Although he sat out with pulled hamstring, WR Terrelle Pryor was popular in his return to the Horseshoe.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” Pryor said. “It was a blessing for me to come back. We had a lot of successful games here.”

Sitting Out: Held out of the scrimmage were: DB Pierre Desir (knee), DB Robert Nelson (hamstring), WR Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), DL Billy Winn (ankle), WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), FB Malcolm Johnson (shoulder), RB Duke Johnson (hamstring), RB Terrance West (calf), TE Randall Telfer (knee), RB Glenn Winston (knee), LB Barkevious Mingo (knee), OL Joe Madsen (concussion), RB Luke Lundy (concussion), TE Kevin Haplea (knee) and DB Ifo Ekre-Olomu

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