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Johnny Manziel struggles in 11-on-11 drills at Browns training camp

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Working with the Cleveland Browns’ second-team offense without pads and with limited contact, Johnny Manziel reportedly struggled mightily in 11-on-11 drills during Thursday’s training camp session.

According to Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot, the second-year quarterback in one series had a sequence where he would have been sacked twice, nearly threw an interception and had a pass slapped down at the line of scrimmage, all in a four-play succession.

Manziel’s body language didn’t exactly inspire confidence, either, as ESPN’s Pat McManamon reports that the quarterback appeared frustrated with his performance, as he frequently was spotted walking around with his head down.

But Manziel reportedly showed some flashes, too. He reportedly threw a perfect pass to rookie receiver Vince Mayle down the right sideline that was dropped. He then completed a 20-yard-plus completion to Kevin Cone on the next play.

Browns head coach Mike Pettine didn’t specifically address Manziel’s uneven-to-poor performance but had the following to say about all the quarterbacks.

“”here were some good balls thrown out there and defensively we made some plays,” he said. “Joe Haden showed his usual form breaking on a ball, Tramon Williams made a play on another one. I thought both of those guys did some good things. What I liked was the command in the huddle and the knowledge of the offense. We’re further ahead than we were a year ago with that — with all the quarterbacks.”

Manziel split first-team reps with Brian Hoyer last season but is working exclusively with the second unit with Josh McNown running with the first team. Still, Pettine hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of Manziel leapfrogging McNown for the starting spot.

“I don’t think anything’s changed,” he said about the depth chart at the QB position. “The repetitions will be handled that way with Josh as the 1. I wouldn’t say I’m guaranteeing today that Josh McCown is going to be the starter against the Jets. A lot can happen in preseason.”

If Manziel’s ascension to starter should ever come to fruition, he’ll have to have much better practice performances than the one he put up on Thursday.