Quarterback Johnny Manziel took some first-team repetitions during Wednesday's OTA practice in Berea.
BEREA, Ohio -- With Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer still limited while he continues to work his way back from the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that he suffered in a win over the Buffalo Bills last October, rookie signal-caller Johnny Manziel took some repetitions with the top offensive unit during Wednesday's organized team activities practice.
Although Browns coach Mike Pettine said Manziel "was inconsistent," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan sees a lot of positives in the rookie quarterback's game.
"I really don't try to assess it right now because it's early and you're throwing a ton at them," Shanahan said after Wednesday's practice. "Right when they think it's getting easy, once they show up tomorrow morning, we're going to throw a whole bunch of new stuff at them. We're going to have to wipe out today and move onto the next day.
"OTAs, to me, is just about getting your feet wet, trying to learn the offense, get your reps. You're going to have bad reps, which, I think, are good reps because you learn from bad reps. Putting them through as many situations and throwing as much at them and then, we get away from here a little bit for June and July, we come back in training camp and see what sticks."
According to Shanahan, the offseason workouts and practices are the times for players to make mistakes, but when training camp begins, "that's when the true competition starts."
"It's a little faster," Shanahan said. "They've got a better idea of what's going on. They're a little more comfortable with not only calling the play and getting out of the huddle, but actually looking in the right direction on where those people are. Right now, I think their heads are spinning, as all rookies are."
While assessing Manziel's skill set may be difficult because he is largely throwing without the presence of a defense, Shanahan has taken notice of his young quarterback's work ethic on the football field and in the meeting rooms.
Having coached another rookie sensation in Robert Griffin III during his time as the offensive coordinator in Washington, Shanahan sees the same type of competitive fire in Manziel, who, like Griffin, won a Heisman Trophy during his collegiate career.
"Robert was a very hard worker, and Johnny's been the same way," Shanahan said. "He's come in, committed to learning, committed to what we're asking of him. He's been trying to focus on a lot of things, which is tough.
"Whether it's from a technique standpoint to just learning the verbiage of the offense, to where to look, the rhythm of plays, some of the checks we ask him to do, it's way too much to throw at anybody for them to come out and do it. You just hope, each day, that they show progress. Then, they get away for a little bit and relax, and you hope when they come back in training camp, it's a little bit easier for them."
DANSBY MISSES OTA PRACTICE
The Browns had several players on the sideline during Wednesday's practice because of injuries, but linebacker Karlos Dansby was not among them. He is out of town rehabbing an injury.
"We're in a voluntary phase of our offseason," Pettine said. "He has something minor, injury-wise, that he's been dealing with. He prefers to deal with it out of town, so he should be back, we're anticipating, next week."
AUSTIN GETS CLOSE
Like he did last week, veteran wide receiver Miles Austin spent practice on the sidelines. But instead of rehabbing an injury, Austin was being held out for precautionary reasons.
"Before we finish up with workouts here, he'll be out there," Pettine said. "We just wanted to take it slow with him. We don't have a game until September, and given his history, we just wanted to be extra cautious with him."
RECEIVERS ON THE MEND
Wide receivers Charles Johnson and Travis Benjamin are both on the mend after suffering torn ACLs last season, but if all continues to go well with their rehab, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Johnson and speedy Benjamin could be on the field for the start of training camp.
"We anticipate him being ready for the start of camp, him and Travis both," Pettine said. "Those two would be the only ones who could potentially start on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform List), but at this point, I think it looks pretty good that they'll both be able to start training camp."