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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Johnny Manziel may be closing the gap with Brian Hoyer

Johnny Manziel Brian Hoyer

Johnny Manziel’s biggest obstacle to taking over the starting quarterback job of the Cleveland Browns may not be Brian Hoyer, but his ability to learn the playbook.

During the week, Manziel said learning the playbook has been his struggle because there are so many nuances to it. Hoyer has been the team’s starter during training camp, and offensive line anchor Joe Thomas compared him to Tom Brady. Despite all the praise, Manziel has more natural ability than Hoyer, and that was on display during a Saturday scrimmage.

The Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich reports that Manziel appeared “to have narrowed the gap between himself and Hoyer with his performance in the scrimmage.”

Head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will talk about giving Manziel more reps with the first-team offense since he’s been working with the second-string mostly. It sounds like he will probably get that chance.

During the scrimmage, Hoyer led the first-team offense against the first-team defense and got a crack at the second-team defense. Manziel had two drives against the second-team defense. Hoyer’s drives against the first-team defense did not result in points, but he got a field goal against the second-team. Manziel went 3-and-out in his first drive and then led the offense to the goal line in his second drive, though they were stopped on 4th down.

Hoyer will probably keep the starting job for at least six games barring injury, but Manziel is getting into the mix.

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