BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns will break from practicing at their Berea headquarters with this afternoon's trip to The University of Akron's InfoCision Stadium for their annual Family Day Scrimmage.
And when the Browns hit the field for their live-tackling scrimmage, first-year coach Mike Pettine expects a competitive battle, one in which he wants to see, "Who can step up and make plays in a live situation."
"Everything, so far, has been scripted," Pettine said. "This is now a true unscripted period. Early on in the week, we kind of wean our guys off a little bit. We'll show them the script. They'll know what reps they're in there. They'll know what they're responsible for. They get a chance to study a little bit.
"It's really the first opportunity, other than a few move-the-ball periods, where we're essentially taking the training wheels off. Some guys can handle the transition easily. Some guys, you'll see step up and maybe, some guys fade away."
Pettine is particularly interested in seeing rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel in unscripted situations.
Known for his playmaking skills and improvisation ability, Manziel completed 595 passes for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns in 26 games for Texas A&M, where he became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award and the Manning Award, as well as the first player in Southeastern Conference history to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in the same season, 2012.
"I'm looking for all our guys to compete, especially the quarterbacks," Pettine said. "He still won't be live in it, so some of the things that maybe he was able to escape from in college will be whistle-dead in tomorrow's scrimmage. You always want to protect our guys when we're going against each other. The first true live contact for the quarterbacks will be in Detroit."
Like their quarterbacks not facing contact until the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Aug. 9, the coaches will remain on the field rather than going up to the booth, and Pettine believes offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will stay on the sidelines for the whole season.
"The first time we do the booth will be Detroit, Pettine said. "We'll still be on the sidelines. We won't have headsets on. We'll still communicate as we have been, just with a walkie talkie."