Johnny Manziel struggles at Browns camp; Terrelle Pryor thrives at WR

ByPat McManamon ESPN logo
Thursday, July 30, 2015

BEREA, Ohio -- It was not a grand opening for Johnny Manziel at Cleveland Browns training camp Thursday.

The results of the second-year quarterback's first four dropbacks went like this: sack, sack, pass nearly intercepted, pass batted down at the line.

The Browns' practice was like an extension of their minicamp, without pads and with limited contact. (Plays were stopped and considered sacks when the defender was near the quarterback.) But Manziel and the other QBs could drop back, read and throw.

Josh McCown did that and generally performed well on Thursday. Manziel eventually did it a couple of times, but his overall performance did not jump out to the eye.

McCown worked exclusively with the first team, and Manziel with the backups.

"It's hard to say," coach Mike Pettine said when asked to evaluate the pair.

Pettine said both had good throws, and he liked their command in the huddle and knowledge of the offense. Manziel's body language did not ooze confidence, though. He walked a lot with his head down, as if he was not pleased with the way things were going.

The Browns have been patient with Manziel and insisted during the offseason that he not be judged on the results of plays because they were not called for specific situations.

Pettine had said earlier in the week that Manziel could win the starting job for the season opener. Based on the first day, he has a long way to go -- even if it was a practice without pads.

Quarterback-turned-receiver Terrelle Pryor, meanwhile, showed the proper amount of confidence and realism.

"I believe I can do it," he said of making the position switch in camp. "It's just going to take a lot of hard work and focus."

Receiver Brian Hartline said Pryor faces a "pretty tall task."

"I've been playing since I was 16, just like the majority of guys in the NFL," Hartline said. "Now he has to make up years of learning and work in a couple weeks."

From the sideline, Pryor looks the part. He's tall, has good hands and runs extremely well after the catch. He showed that when he caught some slants and ran past people, working backups vs. backups.

Pryor said the details will be his biggest challenge. Cornerback Joe Haden described those details as getting in and out of breaks and going after the ball.

"He looks great in a uniform, I can tell you that," Pettine said.

McCown walked over to Pryor after his first full practice and told the receiver he looked "real good" and to "keep stacking the days."

As for his Ohio State days, Pryor said this: "Loud fans, beautiful stadium, great coach, great tradition." And about the end, when he was suspended and left the program early? "Painful, but I've seen worse."

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