Johnny Manziel Putting in Extra Work Preparing for Sunday
There have been a number of reports, including from the great Jay Glazer, that one of the reasons Johnny Manziel didn’t start last week was his preparation. Mike Pettine has since shot down that report but it hasn’t stopped media and fans from circling the carcass of those rumors like buzzards.
Everyone will be glad to know that Manziel is reportedly putting in extra work to prepare for his debut as the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback:
South Bound & Down
So mark that down as a real report, about a real event that actually happened. Manziel is doing extra work on a non-practice day.
That Manziel may not have been putting in the same amount of time or effort could be true because of the limitations of the coaching staff. The staff likely focused as much time and attention to get Brian Hoyer prepared for Sunday as they could. Hoyer likely took every opportunity he could to grow and learn, leaving less time for Manziel.
Now as the starter the Browns and Manziel are putting the work in to get him prepared.
The extra time also could be necessary as Kyle Shanahan may look to add new wrinkles to the Browns offense with the mobile, electric Manziel at the helm. The Browns have run very little pistol formation and no Zone Read plays with Hoyer at quarterback. Those are two areas that Manziel could excel in and put the Browns in position to put up points on offense, something they have struggled doing lately.
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It is not hard to imagine Shanahan getting Manziel out on what looks like a Zone Read only for him to pull back for a pass. Using a rocker step, seen with Cardale Jones of the Buckeyes last weekend (and Tim Tebow at Florida) is another way to give a run look on a passing plays. Any of these will likely freeze the linebackers and safeties, or cause them to take steps forward. That will open up crossing patterns underneath and some deep throws.
Timing for Manziel could also be an issue. He hasn’t practiced with the first team much this year which could throw things off. Cadence, snap count, audibles and timing on routes all will need special attention this week. As much work as Manziel and the coaching staff can do in advance of practice should help them be on the same page.
While Johnny Manziel’s birthday cake gets all the attention, we are much more impressed about the extra work he is reportedly putting in.
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What do you think about Johnny Manziel’s preparation this year?