For Johnny Manziel, an awful lot may be riding on Monday’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins.
Johnny Football, according to ESPN, has moved ahead of Brian Hoyer as the two battle to be the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback. Manziel, who completed 7 of 11 passes for 63 yards with the second-team offense in Cleveland’s 13-12 loss to Detroit on Saturday night, also gained 27 yards on six carries. Especially impressive was a 16-yard scramble that ended with a slide — vintage Manziel. An unnamed Browns source told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that Manziel has the momentum and that, if he plays well Monday, coaches will consider whether to start him Sept. 7 against Pittsburgh.
On Saturday night, though, Browns Coach Mike Pettine wasn’t going to commit to Manziel for Monday night or beyond just yet.
“That decision hasn’t been made yet,” said Pettine of the second preseason game. He intends to choose a starter before the third preseason game, so it would stand to reason that Manziel would start Monday.
Manziel’s performance Saturday didn’t clinch the spot, as he well knew.
“I just think I need to continue to do what the coaches are asking me to do and continue to learn and go through these situations in these games and try to handle them the best that I can while they’re coming at me,” Manziel said. “I’m sure through these next few weeks there will be adversity that I’ll have to overcome.
“At the same time, that’s part of this game and I need to continue to try to handle the situations the best I know how and try to put this team and my group – whichever, the ones, the twos, the threes, the fours, whatever it is – try and move the ball down the field and help our team win a game.”