Browns camp tease: Manziel, Gordon featured in practice
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EditorsNote: adds more details, quotes Browns camp tease: Manziel, Gordon featured in practice
There was first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel throwing a 40-yard touchdown on his initial snap with the first string.
There was Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon looking, well, like a Pro Bowl wide receiver.
But it doesn't mean that Manziel ascended to the starting role or that Gordon will even be available as the league mulls a probable suspension.
Unofficially Manziel was 6 of 17 with one interception and two dropped passes. Brian Hoyer was 11 of 22 with one drop. A catch and run by Willie Snead went for 71 yards to highlight Hoyer's day.
Head coach Mike Pettine said Manziel and Hoyer will alternate working with the first team the rest of the week. Pettine said he is still leaning toward starting Hoyer in the preseason opener Saturday in Detroit.
"I don't want to evaluate guys coming right off the field," Pettine said. "When I talk to the offensive coaches and see the tape I'll have a better feel then.
"We'll go back and forth (between Manziel and Hoyer) day to day at this point. We'll meet at midweek to decide how we want to handle the reps in the Detroit game."
Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden had coverage on the deep pass to Benjamin to begin the 11 on 11 portion of practice. Haden is not taking sides in the quarterback duel, but he is impressed with Manziel.
"Hoyer probably does the same thing, but the only thing different for me is Manziel, if it's not open, he's going to extend 80 percent of the plays," Haden said. "If his first option's not open, the second option, he's going to start scrambling around, moving around and you just have to make sure you stay on your receiver a little longer."
Neither Manziel nor Hoyer was available for comment after practice.
Gordon practiced while his appeal hearing with the NFL was in its second day in New York. He missed two days last week and Saturday's scrimmage while meeting with an arbitrator related to his potential one-year suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Gordon left practice early to take part in the hearing via teleconference.
"We've been patient so far and waited this long. Hopefully a resolution is coming soon," Pettine said.
Gordon, 23, faces a suspension for a positive marijuana test during the offseason.
Despite being banned two games last season, Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards. He also became the first player in league history to gain 200 yards receiving in consecutive games.
The Browns will have at least three different receivers on the roster if Gordon is suspended because Greg Little and Davone Bess were released from the 2013 team. Andrew Hawkins has a lock on the slot receiver job. The rest could be wide receiver by committee, Pettine said
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