Johnny Manziel is still capable of stealing the starting job from Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer, but if his debut was any indication, he will have to do it with his legs over his arm. The best highlights from Manziel came on him running out of the pocket versus throwing from it.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine has a position battle on his hands. He told the AP's Noah Trister (via CBSSports.com):
They both did some things more suited to their skill set. I think Brian was high on a couple throws. I think he would want those back, and he threw a couple other nice balls in there. Then I thought Johnny did some nice things from the pocket, and when he got out, he created a little bit as well.
Manziel was getting himself in danger running around and even putting his head down on a failed third down that ended his first series.
"The times I did take off, I felt like I got out of bounds, slid, and tried to protect myself in the best way that I could," Manziel told Trister. "I feel fine."
The rookie scrambler was exciting to watch, but he did not do enough to unseat Hoyer as the starter yet, especially because his play in the pocket has to be graded "incomplete." You shouldn't draft Manziel outside of being a late-round flier, but we guarantee you will be watching him closely this preseason.
Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions Fantasy Takeaways
- Josh Gordon, facing a full-season suspension, started and caught two passes for 32 yards. Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer tweeted Gordon expects the decision on his appeal to take as long as three weeks. There isn't a whole lot of optimism for Gordon's ability to help fantasy owners at this point.
- Ben Tate rushed six times for 25 yards, thoroughly outplaying Terrance West, who had 10 carries for just 22 yards. Undrafted free agent Isaiah Crowell didn't get a carry for Cleveland. Tate is the starter as long as he is healthy, but West showed a good burst, despite the subpar numbers.
- Detroit's Ryan Broyles showed us something with three catches for 27 yards. He might wind up being a bye-week replacement option this season.
- Rookie tight end Eric Ebron caught just one pass for two yards for the Lions. He hasn't been impressive in camp and isn't close enough to the top of the depth chart right now to be worth picking in fantasy drafts. He is one of the most disappointing of the elite rookies thus far in training camp.