NFL Wire News

Manziel get first-team reps; Davis stands ready


The Sports Xchange

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel took snaps with the first-team offense on Wednesday for the first time since the 15th game of last season.

Manziel was the backup behind Josh McCown from the beginning of the offseason program. Time is short, but the obvious hope is timing will improve with more practice time.

The Browns still hope, however, that McCown will be cleared from his concussion to practice Friday and play against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

“We’ll be prepared either way,” head coach Mike Pettine said. “It’s my understanding the earliest (McCown) can practice is Friday. Everybody reacts different. Some guys it takes longer. The league protocol is very cautious. We’ll always be very cautious with it.”

Austin Davis, signed Sept. 7 when the Browns were concerned about Manziel’s sore right elbow, is confident be ready if McCown isn’t cleared from a concussion suffered in the opener and anything happens to Manziel.

“I think we’d have to limit the package,” Davis said. “I think I’d come up with a set part of the offense I’d feel comfortable with and go play. I did it the last three years. There’s enough football I know I think I could get it done.”

Davis won three games as a starter with the Rams last year.

–The Browns set at NFL record last year by storming back from a 28-3 deficit in the second quarter to beat the Titans 29-28 in Nashville, Tenn. It was the biggest comeback by a road team in NFL history.

The Browns got a safety and two touchdown passes from Brian Hoyer to Travis Benjamin in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback. The winning pass to Benjamin was a 6-yard toss with 1:09 to play.

–Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton was Cleveland’s defensive coordinator in 2013. He was fired when the Browns canned head coach Rob Chudzinski after one season.

Only five starters from the 2013 team are still on the roster — cornerback Joe Haden, safety Tashaun Gipson, linebackers Paul Kruger and Craig Robertson, and defensive end Desmond Bryant. Still, if anyone knows how to exploit the weaknesses of those players, it should be Horton.

–The Browns traded running back Terrance West to the Titans on Sept 6, exactly one week before their season opener, for a conditional seventh-round draft choice. West led the Browns in rushing last year with 673 yards but was traded because of immaturity issues.

West rushed 13 times for 41 yards last week in Tennessee’s season-opening victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week, quarterback Johnny Manziel led the Browns with 35 yards rushing.

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