For the second straight day a crowd of nearly three thousand fans visited the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio to watch day two of training camp 2015. If you were in attendance for both days, you witnessed a better day of practice for Johnny Manziel on Friday.
Both Manziel and Josh McCown had a very good day two. During seven on seven and eleven on eleven drills, Manziel only threw one incompletion, compared to day one where he had passes knocked down at the line of scrimmages, passes nearly intercepted and was sacked more than once. Another good sign was that Manziel was effective while in the pocket.
“I don’t want to make, too much gets made in that,” head coach Mike Pettine said on Manziel.‘He had a bad series of plays.’ He came out here today, just like any other day – he wanted to work to get better, and he took it one play at a time.”
Day two was even better for the current starting quarterback McCown. The veteran was connecting on passes into tight windows. McCown connected with throws that were past cornerbacks and in front of safeties. McCown also completed slant patterns to his receivers and hitting them in stride. If you are keeping score it’s McCown two, Manziel zero in the battle for the starting quarterback job, if this is really a battle at all.
“I think their level of confidence has definitely boosted since yesterday,” wide receiver Dwayne Bowe said after Friday’s practice. “Today they were out here throwing into tight spots. All the receivers were making plays. It is starting to click faster. I think this is the first time in nine years that the second day of camp has been flowing, and more people are making plays more so than the first day so that is a plus.”
Bowe is quickly making an impact in his first training camp in a uniform other than the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowe will have plenty of competition for the number one wide receiver spot but he’s very impressed with how the offense looks after just two days of training camp.
“Just by watching it, it looks unbelievable,” Bowe said. “After we break down film and see the positives we are making, we just have to stay on track to keep climbing and not going up and down. I think once we get that formula we will be pretty good.”
In the battle for the starting running back spot, Isaiah Crowell took the first snap of drills on Friday after Terrance West had that honor on Thursday. With the two second year backs and third round pick Duke Johnson all expected to see time in the backfield, it looks like the Browns will be a running back by committee offense unless one of the backs has a breakout training camp.
If you include the guys in camp who grew up in the Youngstown area, the Browns have nine players who are from Northeast Ohio in camp. Brian Hartline and Donte Whitner are all but locks to make the roster, but a couple of local guys hope to make the final roster on special teams Former Mayfield kicker Carey Spear hopes to win the place kicker job and former Glenville Tarblooder Shane Wynn hopes to return kicks. Despite his size, Wynn is making an impression on his head coach so far.
“He fits right in with some of our other smaller guys,” Pettine said of Wynn. “I was joking with Flip that we can have an all Smurf group out there. He has shown right away that it is not too big for him. He has picked up the X’s and O’s part right away. For his size, he has the skillset that you need when you have the lack of height – the suddenness and the ability to separate. I’ll be curious to see what happens in a live situation what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands.”
Saturday will be a very busy day three of training camp, but not just for the players and coaches but for the fans as well. The players will practice in full pads for the first time. The Browns are also asking fans to donate blood through the Cleveland Browns blood drive. Fans can donate at one of twelve locations throughout Northeast Ohio. Fans who participate will receive a commemorative Browns First and Ten T-shirt, while supplies last, as well as have the chance to win great prizes, including memorabilia and two tickets to a preseason Browns game.
Practice is from 9:30 a.m until 12:00 p.m. All tickets for Saturday’s practice and all open practices are sold out but keep following clevelanbrowns.com to see if more tickets become available.