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Johnny Manziel's NFL Debut: Took a Shot to the Ribs, But He's Still Full of Moxie

Johnny Manziel dive during preseason DET-CLE

Johnny Manziel made his NFL preseason debut for the Cleveland Browns Saturday night in Detroit, and the results were slightly above average, but please remember he played with the second unit offense and against many (if not all) Detroit backups.

The stats, in case you care about preseason numbers: 7-of-11 passing, 63 yards (two drops). He rushed six times for 27 yards, with a gorgeous 16-yard scamper (see below) up the middle on a play that was a carbon copy of what he did at Texas A&M. He led the Browns to three points in four drives (I’m excluding taking a knee right before the half).

Johnny Manziel preseason slide DET-CLE

Likes: Moxie! Arm strength. Fearlessness. Basically, everything you already knew.

Dislikes: Quick to tuck and run; missed wide open fullback on 4th and 1 (see below), but ran for the first anyway; GOTTA SLIDE FEET FIRST (let’s see how his ribs feel; see above). Again, pretty much what you already knew. His lack of height didn’t appear to be a factor on this night.

Johnny Manziel should have thrown on 4th and 1 preseason DET-CLE

This all means virtually nothing, except that he didn’t completely soil himself, and he didn’t look so incredible that the starter, Brian Hoyer, might have lost sleep over it.

Sorry folks, you’ll have to wait until next week, when Manziel is starting against Washington, to see how Manziel does with the 1st team and against a 1st team defense. Sure, he could win the job (or lose it) next week. But no sweeping conclusions can be drawn from more than a quarter against backups in a preseason game.

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