CLEVELAND – After going 7-of-11 for 63 yards and rushing for 27 yards on six carries against the Detroit Lions, should Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel start against the Washington Redskins?
Manziel, the uber-hyped rookie phenom out of Texas A&M showed some of his trademark “Johnny Football” abilities in improvising and using his feet. While many still feel that Hoyer is ahead, after watching last night’s game, this writer thinks that Manziel has earned the right to start against the Washington Redskins and playing with the first-team, so that he can be both properly evaluated.
While what Manziel did with the second-team starters is commendable, the Browns will never get a chance to accurately assess Manziel’s skill set in live action, playing behind the likes of Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz and Jon Greco of an offensive line, handing off to Ben Tate and throwing to Josh Gordon, Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin, Nate Burelson and Jordan Cameron—who is out with a shoulder injury.
As I stated in my last column, it’s not fair to properly evaluate either Manziel or Hoyer, as both suffered from dropped passes, an inability to score and turnovers.
In two quarters of work, Manziel showed that he has the ability to scramble when he needs to, impressive arm strength and accuracy and the ability to potentially lead a team.
While he is still a bit raw, Manziel pulled even with Hoyer in my opinion, as he gives the Browns a dimension never seen on the shores of Lake Erie, a modern-day, mobile and accurate passer.
While I also like Hoyer and what he brings in terms of pocket presence, precision and quick decision-making, that being said, what Manziel brings a different dimension—a unique ability to extend plays.
If the recent media reports are true that the Browns locker room is divided 50-50 and that Manziel will likely get to start in Landover, the Browns and their fans will get a chance to have their many questions answered about Manziel playing with the first team.
If his electrifying performance against the Lions is a taste of what’s to come, then the Browns—for once—have a enviable dilemma on their hands as to who will lead them going forward.
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