May 28, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws a pass during organized team activities at Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at Notes From Cleveland Browns Minicamp

In our age of technology and social media there are many positives and negatives. Some of the negatives get blasted so often that it would seem like there was no use for any of it. Yet it continues to grow meaning many find the positives to far out weight the negatives. One such positives is in regards to coverage of non-televised sporting events, such as the Cleveland Browns Minicamp. Through the Lists feature of Twitter users can setup a List of tweeters who are covering such event and following along with some of their takes and get information that once was only available to those live on site, or the next day through the newspaper.

Today we will take a look at notes from minicamp through the lens of Twitter and give our take on the information provided to us yesterday. We love your feedback in the comment section, or by interacting with us on our pages Twitter account (click here to follow us). Now on to minicamp coverage:

Steve brings up an interesting point that he noticed. Is it possible that Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel are not in friendly competition but are both highly competitive and want to win the starting QB job? While some may be concerned to not see them close to each other and talking, it is a great sign of their competitive spirit that they both are dug in to win the job. It also could be Steve seeing things through biased eyes based on what he expects or hopes would happen. Confirmation bias is a normal, natural thing where someone is more likely to see what they expected to see then the realistic picture. Either way an interesting note to start out with.

Ruiter notes an important issue in the QB competition: the Browns handling of Hoyer’s recovery. Hoyer had been limited to only shotgun or pistol snaps so far which gave Manziel far more time leading the offense. Being cautious with Hoyer, while giving Manziel more time under center, is a smart play but could it cause problems for the coaching staff when making the big QB decision? Or does it mean the coaching staff already feels comfortable with what Hoyer can do and are giving Manziel more time to prove his abilities for the evaluation? The good news is that it is early in the process.

Chose to use the retweet from Anderson, of ESPN Fame, instead of the direct Glenn Moore tweet as it speaks to media coverage of Manziel. This tweet actually followed the next tweet but Anderson only chose to RT this one. The narrative that a media member has can skew the information they provided. The key word in Moore’s tweet was “tho” as in this one is different then that one. Manziel is showing off his arm in training camp. He can hit players in stride on deep balls which will be even more beneficial if/when he gets to play with Josh Gordon.

The trouble he is having “tho” is with “angle throws,” a term that was processed between this writer and a few other Browns writers on Twitter, including Moore. What Moore is saying with these two tweets is that Manziel does well on the deep ball but is struggling with many of the other throws where players are coming on an angle. This could be a problem with timing, accuracy or seeing over the line, or a combination of all 3 for the young QB. Lets take a look at trying to understand what an “angle throw” is.

Brendan, who does a great job with DraftBrowns, wondered what many wondered, where did the term angle throw come from? It is clear that he and Ryan think every throw that is not a straight deep route, a 9 route, is an angle throw. From the description Moore gave it seems like he is talking more about hard breaking routes: posts, flags, slants, outs, etc. The type of throw that a QB needs to make as the receiver is planting their foot to make a cut. With that some non-angle throws are curls, 9 routes, dump offs to the flat and screen throws. Either way we still didn’t get to the root of where that term came from, did Moore hear it from one of the coaches? Is it a term we will hear more often from camp?

Garrett Gilkey is a offensive lineman to watch. Him replacing rookie Joel Bitonio is not a huge story in and of itself but coach Mike Pettine doesn’t seem inclined to give jobs to players based on their draft spot or their salary. Expect a few players to either be cut or not be starters that will surprise many. Most teams value draft picks or free agent signings but Pettine’s delivery has been clear that the best players will play. Gilkey and Bitonio may be the favorites for the 2 starting guard spots and give the Browns great depth on the interior of the line.

Another rookie and Pettine note here from Brendan and Ryan together. Pettine loves versatility. Jabaal Sheard will see some time as a down 3-4 defensive end, outside in a 4-3 set and standing up as the OLB in the base 3-4. Rookie Christian Kirksey, the expected starting ILB, will be used all over the field, possibly as a big safety at times as well. Pettine’s goal is to put players in the best position to succeed, not just force them into his system. Exciting to see how all the defensive talent is used this season.

And finally some evaluation of the QBs with Ruiter’s not being a surprise. Manziel is learning a whole new way of playing QB from his college days. That leads to much more thinking and far less reacting. Hoyer on the other hand has experience in a number of offenses from his time with the Patriots, Cardinals and Steelers. His ability to pick up the offense and play in better rhythm isn’t a surprise and would be a problem if it wasn’t true. The real question is can Manziel make up the difference and how quickly?

Finally Moore gives an actually grade to his Manziel evaluation, a C-. Much of the concerns that were noted with Manziel aren’t about ability and are more about comfort level. That can change quickly as he picks up the offense but many will blame his off the field fun as the reason he is behind. Film study and time in the playbook is very important but nothing beats live snaps on the field. The coaching staff holding Hoyer back a bit to protect his knee will allow Manziel more time to catch up with live reps.

What information have you seen that was interesting or surprising from minicamp? If you are attending any sessions please let us know here or on Twitter.


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