Manziel No. 1 for the day

TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer Published:

BEREA (AP) -- Johnny Manziel took a planned trip one slot up the depth chart. There's no telling how long No. 2 will stay No. 1.

The rookie quarterback took snaps with Cleveland's starters for the first time in practice at training camp on Monday, moving ahead of Brian Hoyer for at least one day.

Coach Mike Pettine said Manziel's promotion was simply the next step in the club's evaluation of the two quarterbacks in the second full week of their competition for the starting job.

"It's just part of our plan," Pettine said. "We said we were going to allow the quarterbacks to compete, at some point you've got to mix up the supporting cast a little bit. It's all part of it."

Manziel's promotion -- planned or not -- caused quite a stir at Browns camp as another large crowd lined the fields behind team headquarters to get a close look at Hoyer vs. Johnny Football.

Pettine knew the decision to move the popular Manziel in with the starters would cause a commotion.

"That's great," he said, shrugging his shoulders. "That comes with the territory."

Manziel had worked exclusively with Cleveland's second-string offense until Monday, when Hoyer was dropped back with the subs.

Pettine cautioned not to look deeper into the change and said there's still a strong chance Hoyer will start Saturday's exhibition opener in Detroit. Pettine said Manziel's performance in Saturday's scrimmage at Akron, where he made plays with his arm and legs, had no bearing on him practicing with the starters.

"It's just something we wanted to work them both in and it's part of our process," he said.

On his first play of 11-on-11 drills, Manziel completed a 40-yard pass to wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who came back to grab the underthrown ball. Moments later, Manziel's tipped pass intended for Josh Gordon was intercepted by safety Donte Whitner.

Manziel completed 6 of 17 passes during the practice, and Hoyer was 11 of 22.

After reviewing the tape, Pettine said both quarterbacks made progress during the Akron scrimmage, where Manziel showed some of the elusive scrambling ability which helped him win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M.

"I think both quarterbacks took steps," he said. "I thought they both played to their skillset. I thought Johnny did a good job making some plays with his feet, keeping plays alive, and Brian I thought showed some poise in the pocket and stepped into some throws. Let's not forget, that he's a guy coming off of a knee (surgery) and that was really the first true live work that he had gotten, so I thought that was good work for him as well."

Browns wide receiver Nate Burleson said the switch at quarterback didn't change things at practice.

"Maybe it's because I've been around," he said. "I've been on teams where we've had three quarterbacks in one season, so for us it's just show up and catch the ball. There's a height difference in the two, but as far as fundamentals, they both throw the ball the same. They're both making plays. We don't take notice. It's not, 'Hold on, wait, Johnny's in here.' It's just listen to the play, go out and be where we're supposed to be and make the play when the ball is coming to us."

Burleson said Manziel has improved during eight practice sessions.

"You can tell he's getting a lot more comfortable in the huddle, kind of spouting out the plays with ease," he said.

Cornerback Joe Haden has noticed a change in Manziel since camp began.

"He's becoming more comfortable," Haden said. "You can see that he's finally starting to relax."

For Hoyer, that's probably not a good thing.

NOTES: Manziel signed a multiyear endorsement deal with MusclePharm, a sports nutrition company. He joins Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Colin Kaepernick as endorsers of the product. Manziel's portfolio includes deals with Nike and Snickers. ... Browns NT Phil Taylor practiced for the first time in camp. He had been sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained in the conditioning test. ... Browns Pro Bowl TE Jordan Cameron was held out with a shoulder injury. Pettine said Cameron has an AC joint issue but doesn't believe it's serious. "If this were a game week, more than likely he would've gone," said Pettine, adding the team will be cautious with Cameron heading into the Lions game. ... The Browns reached an injury settlement and waived OG Jason Pinkston, whose career may be over because of blood clots in his lungs. Pinkston made 24 starts over the past three years. He was hospitalized with blood clots in 2012 and missed most of last season with an ankle injury. .. The Browns signed DB Royce Adams. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jets in 2012, when Pettine was New York's defensive coordinator.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Colin Kaepernick cradled his eight-month-old nephew, Ezekiel, in his arms, then lifted the infant into the air, gently bouncing him up and down.

A few feet away, Bruce Miller bumped fists with fans draped over the first row of seats. And Vernon Davis flashed a megawatt smile, pointing playfully at the legion of fans chanting his name.

The San Francisco 49ers are getting ready for their new house of energy and emotion.

The team conducted its first training camp practice at Levi's Stadium on Monday afternoon, getting familiar not only with its new home field, but also thousands of fans who flocked to the stadium for a public practice and then got an opportunity to mingle with players afterward.

An allotted total of 10,000 tickets were distributed for the practice through an internet lottery, and with fans cheering and a sound system blaring, the 49ers already were feeling right at home.

"As soon as I stepped foot out there, they were playing music, and I just got to dancing and everything," wide receiver Quinton Patton said. "It felt pretty good."


OXNARD, Calif. -- Tony Romo wrapped up his most strenuous day so far at training camp by saying his surgically repaired back would get a rest: He will not play in the preseason opener at San Diego.

The Dallas quarterback also planned to sit out a day of practice this week, the latest indication that the Cowboys are closely managing the 34-year-old Romo's recovery.

Romo pushed himself through a long practice on the team's ninth workout day of camp Sunday. He had been off the previous two days and skipped two practices earlier.

"It doesn't feel that much different than the other days, but we're just out here more time and with more plays," Romo said after throwing 25 passes in 7-on-7 and team drills Sunday. "We've been executing real well so it was good to see that again today."

Seven months removed from surgery for a herniated disk, Romo says he's 100 percent but acknowledges that his workout routine has changed significantly.

He gets cold water treatment three times a day. And he's constantly stretching and exercising the muscles around the back.

He says that back surgery means "you kind of have to change the way you do things."


ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron claims he has taken some criticism on Twitter about dropping passes.

"When they do, I love it," he insisted. "I love when people talk about me. That way when I prove you wrong, it looks bad on you, not me."

Ebron displayed flashes of promise Monday at practice, quickly running routes and leaping to make catches. The rookie also proved he has a lot to learn, cutting in when he should have stayed outside on at least one snap.

"New play," he said. "Working on it."

When the Lions drafted Ebron at No. 10 overall in May, some wondered how it would work to have a trio of tight ends on the roster.

Ebron has already showed he is athletic enough to line up as a slot receiver. He also may be used in some three-tight end formations with Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Lining up Ebron all over the field does add to his learning curve coming out of North Carolina.

"It's a difficult position to play because you're literally learning all four positions," coach Jim Caldwell said. "Often times to the untrained eye, the guy lines up in so many different places that it's not an easy task. He's getting accustomed to it."

While Ebron's confidence comes across easily in any conversation, he does acknowledge not having everything figured out yet. After a week of practicing with Detroit's full squad, Ebron is ready to face someone other than his teammates. He is excited to make his professional debut -- albeit in an exhibition game -- Saturday night at home against Cleveland.

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