QB Johnny Manziel - Free Agent

6-0, 210Born: 12-6-1992College: Texas A&MDrafted: Round 1, pick 22 (2014)

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Game Recaps

2015 Week 1 vs NYJ (13 / 24 / 182 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 35 / 0 rush)

Manziel made his first appearance at the beginning of the second quarter. He looked solid on his first drive, making quick decisions and throwing with accuracy. Throughout the game, he had a couple big runs taken off the board by offensive penalties. In the second quarter, he had a beautiful 24-yard run negated by an illegal chock block penalty. He recovered on the next play, hitting Travis Benjamin in stride deep down the field for a 54-yard touchdown. He put the throw right where it needed to be as Benjamin didn't even need to break stride on the play. Manziel was inches from a second touchdown pass in the second quarter, finding Andrew Hawkins in the end zone. Hawkins was only able to get one foot down before falling out of bounds. Manziel committed his first of three turnovers in the third quarter, where he missed Brian Hartline and threw the ball right to Marcus Williams. Everything began to unravel for the Browns after that play. In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Manziel had what looked to be a 23-yard rush canceled by a holding penalty on Alex Mack. Manziel fumbled on the ensuing play at the end of a short run. When Cleveland got the ball back following a Jets touchdown, Manziel was strip-sacked from behind and lost another fumble as he was attempting to roll out towards his right. Overall, Manziel showed his good and bad sides in this game. He looked quick and elusive, and at times passed with accuracy even under pressure. On the other hand, in the fourth quarter he failed to protect the football and made some poor choices.

2015 Week 2 vs TEN (8 / 15 / 172 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 1 / 0 rush)

Manziel turned in his best start as a pro, showing accuracy and patience in the pocket while scrambling when needed to buy extra time to make plays. He only attempted three rushes as he used his legs more to buy time to make passes. On the second offensive play by the Browns, Manziel ran play-action and hit Travis Benjamin for a 60-yard touchdown down the middle of the field. He showed reasonable accuracy on the deep ball, throwing it just slightly behind Benjamin but in a spot where the defense couldn't make a play. On the next drive following the touchdown, Manziel went right back to Benjamin, hitting him for a five-yard gain on a hitch route. Manziel made several plays where he left the pocket to escape pressure and fired accurate passes to his receivers while on the run. While Manziel did make several big plays in this game, some of his concerning habits cropped up yet again. He forced a deep ball to Andrew Hawkins who was double covered. The pass fell incomplete but very easily could have been picked off. In the second half, Manziel's accuracy became shaky as he missed several open receivers. In addition, several times he did not show good pocket awareness, fumbling twice on plays where he didn't feel the pass rush coming. Fortunately for Manziel and the Browns, both fumbles were recovered by the offense. He does need to do a better job protecting the football, especially considering both fumbles did not come on overly hard hits where one would expect a fumble to occur. On the team's last drive of the game, Manziel escaped several pass rushers while rolling to his left before hitting Travis Benjamin for a 50-yard touchdown. All in all, Manziel was lucky to escape the game with no turnovers considering he could have thrown at least two interceptions and lost two fumbles in the game.

2015 Week 7 vs LA (4 / 5 / 27 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)

Manziel came on in relief of an injured McCown for the final 3 minutes of the game. His throws were accurate as he connected on 4-of-5 passes, but they were all of the short variety as the game was already out of reach. He looked comfortable in the pocket, standing in and delivering the ball accurately. Granted, the Rams were only sending four pass rushers at this point of the game. Manziel had one rush for five yards and he also had another five-yard rush erased by a holding penalty. Manziel is expected to be the team's starter next week if McCown is unable to play.

2015 Week 8 vs ARI (3 / 6 / 12 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)

Manziel came into the game with 2:14 left as the Browns opted to rest McCown with the game out of hand. He completed a few passes and badly missed a few throws, almost getting intercepted on his last pass of the game. Manziel may get the start in Week 9 as McCown should again be questionable for Cleveland's Thursday night game.

2015 Week 9 vs CIN (15 / 33 / 168 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 31 / 0 rush)

Manziel had a few nice moments in this game but in the end he completed less than half of his throws and the team didn't pick up a first down in the second half until less than four minutes remained in the game. Cincinnati's pass rush gave him problems as there were many occasions where the defense was in the backfield almost immediately after the snap. Several times the pressure prevented Manziel from going through his progressions and flushed him from the pocket. His footwork was inconsistent at times as he had to resort to throwing off his back foot before he could get his feet set. In an encouraging sign from a development standpoint, he did attempt to keep his eyes downfield to make plays and only tucked the ball and ran four times on the evening. Missing in this game were the deep pass plays that punctuated his short tenure as Cleveland's starter early in the season while Josh McCown was out with a concussion. Manziel had two opportunities to throw a touchdown pass at the end of the first quarter, but threw one pass high and behind Taylor Gabriel and then another well over Gary Barnidge's head. His best moment of the game came at the end of the second quarter when he led the team on a 93-yard touchdown drive. The team used a great mix of run and pass plays on the drive, getting decent runs and a few big pass plays. Manziel was masterful on the drive, making several accurate throws while on the run. His only touchdown pass of the game went to Duke Johnson to cap off the drive. Manziel scrambled to his right and threw a 12-yard pass for the touchdown. It wasn't a great pass as it was behind Johnson, but the running back was able to reach back and pull it in anyways. The second half became ugly for Cleveland's offense. Manziel began to hold on to the ball too long in the third quarter, taking two consecutive sacks at one point. He had open receivers on both plays, he just didn't get the ball out quick enough. His accuracy also escaped him as he started missing open receivers, mostly overthrowing them. He almost threw an interception on his last pass of the game but it was dropped by Dre Kirkpatrick.

2015 Week 10 vs PIT (33 / 45 / 372 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 17 / 0 rush)

Manziel overcame a poor start to the game to post a very respectable line against the Steelers. The very first play from scrimmage resulted in a turnover as the ball slipped out of his hand and was picked up by Arthur Moats. Manziel was almost picked off on his second pass attempt of the game when he targeted Isaiah Crowell. Crowell tipped the ball up in the air to Will Allen, but Allen was unable to stay inbounds on the catch. Later in the quarter, Manziel made a great play in finding Travis Benjamin for a 61-yard gain, as he escaped the pocket and threw a strike while on the run. He did show some toughness in the second quarter after he was ripped down by his facemask. Backup quarterback Austin Davis had started to come onto the field before Manziel ran back out there. He did take several sacks in the game, many a result of poor blocking by the offensive line. Rookie Cameron Erving missed a few blocks that led to sacks in the game. Manziel appeared to rush for an 11-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but the officials ruled his knee was down just short of the goal line. Cleveland challenged the call and lost, but it did appear that the ball crossed the goal line before his knee was down. In an unfortunate turn of events, after the non-touchdown the Browns went on to lose 24 yards on the next three plays. Manziel then capped off the series by throwing an interception on fourth down. He targeted Andrew Hawkins in the end zone, but Mike Mitchell jumped the route and picked off the pass. Later in the game, Manziel showed great touch on his touchdown pass to Gary Barnidge, hitting him in the back corner of the end zone. He came close to adding a second touchdown pass four times on the team's final drive. He missed Barnidge high, then Brian Hartline couldn't make a one-handed catch in the end zone. He then hit Travis Benjamin in the end zone, but Benjamin dropped the pass. Finally, there was a pass that went to Barnidge in the end zone, but it was slightly high and glanced off the big tight end's fingers.

2015 Week 14 vs SF (21 / 31 / 270 / 1 / 1 pass, 7 / 15 / 0 rush)

Manziel played really well against the 49ers, delivering big passes and showing excellent pocket presence. He was poised in the pocket and made good decisions throughout the game. He did a nice job hanging in the pocket with his eyes downfield and he only scrambled out of necessity. He only made a few mistakes on the day, drawing a false start penalty for moving before the snap and throwing a second quarter interception. The interception came on a poor decision where he threw the ball across his body to the middle of the field in the direction of Brian Hartline. Gary Barnidge was wide open down the seam, but Manziel did not see him on the pass. He almost threw a touchdown to Brian Hartline in the first quarter, but the veteran receiver was stripped just before reaching the goal line. In the second quarter, he had another chance at a touchdown pass as he had Gary Barnidge coming across the end zone in the second quarter, but he threw the ball too low. He made a great play on his lone touchdown pass. He faced heavy pressure but was able to backpedal away to buy himself time before making a quick throw off his back foot for a two-yard score to Gary Barnidge.

2015 Week 15 vs SEA (19 / 32 / 161 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 17 / 0 rush)

Manziel played well against a tough Seattle defense, but he was hurt by drops. The game started out promisingly with Manziel leading the Browns on a touchdown drive on their first possession. On the touchdown pass, he made an excellent throw across his body to Gary Barnidge. It looked like he could have kept the ball and rushed for the seven-yard score, but at the last second he saw Barnidge had position on his defender in the end zone. His second drive did not go as well as Seahawks started getting more pressure on him after John Greco was lost for the game. Manziel almost threw an interception at the end of the first half, but was saved by Travis Benjamin who was able to rip the ball out of the defender's hands. Manziel continued to see heavy pressure in the second half of the game, having to throw side armed a few times just to get rid of the ball before taking a sack. His interception came at the end of the game when he targeted Dwayne Bowe deep down the field. It was a poor decision as he threw into double coverage. All in all, Manziel played decently. He most certainly was not the reason the Browns lost and continues to show some encouraging signs in his second season.

2015 Week 16 vs KC (13 / 32 / 136 / 0 / 1 pass, 11 / 108 / 0 rush)

Fans got to see the good and bad sides of Manziel in this game. He did not throw any touchdowns and had one interception. He threw the ball really poorly in the game, constantly missing receivers and completing just 40.6% of his passes. He had sloppy footwork throughout, often throwing off his back foot or not getting his feet set before delivering the ball. This led to several inaccurate passes. On a positive note, however, the Browns finally allowed him to unleash his dangerous scrambling ability. The Chiefs really struggled to stop him as he picked up 108 yards on the ground on just 11 carries with a long run of 34 yards. Many of his rushing attempts were the result of the Chiefs getting pressure and Manziel simply doing what needed to be done to make plays. He missed a wide open Gary Barnidge on his first pass of the game and Eric Berry dropped what would have been an interception on his second pass attempt. His interception came toward the end of the second quarter when he targeted Gary Barnidge deep down the middle of the field. Marcus Peters just jumped in front of Barnidge for an easy interception. Manziel's longest rush came at the beginning of the third quarter on a read-option play where he faked the handoff to Isaiah Crowell before taking off for a 34-yard gain. Manziel came close to connecting with Barnidge for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the pass went over his head. With under two minutes left in the game, he appeared on his way to leading his team on a game-winning drive, but they had no timeouts left. On the final play of the game, Darius Jennings was unable to get out of bounds after a catch which brought them to the Kansas City 18 as the clock ran out.

2014 Week 13 vs BUF (5 / 8 / 63 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 13 / 1 rush)

In his first legitimate debut as an NFL quarterback, Johnny Manziel led the Browns only touchdown drive of the game. Manziel used a very quick throwing motion, and coupled with his laser hot arm velocity, created a lot more room for his receivers to create and allowed him to fit the ball in tight windows. For instance, Manziel nailed Jim Dray late in the fourth quarter on a contested pass, and if that were Brian Hoyer, one would imagine it would have been intercepted. Manziel led the Browns down the field against a very good Bills defense, and in the redzone when it matters most, Manziel ad-libbed when the reads were not there, scrambling up the middle and taking a hit before scoring his first NFL touchdown. Manziel was not transcendent, as he made a few errant throws and fumbled a snap, but Browns fans got a good taste as to how Johnny Manziel could be effective on just a handful of snaps.

2014 Week 15 vs CIN (10 / 18 / 80 / 0 / 2 pass, 5 / 13 / 0 rush)

Johnny Manziel's debut against the Cincinnati Bengals was among the worst that any rookie quarterback has put forth in his debut. Many of the facets that draft pundits worried would not translate to the NFL were limited by the stingy Bengals defense on Sunday. Before beginning analysis on Manziel's performance on Sunday, one must note that the Browns offensive line, most notably right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, were constantly allowing penetration both from the edge and up the A and B gaps. This simple fact meant that Manziel was forced to utilize his outstanding mobility. Manziel regularly avoided sacks and kept plays alive using his feet, however, the results post-scrambling were often horrific. On the run, and generally throughout the game, Manziel showed shaky footwork. This seems to have been the product of Manziel playing too fast trying to compensate for the speed of the NFL game. This shaky footwork led to a plethora of floated, inaccurate passes into coverage. This is exactly what caused Manziel's second interception, where he attempted to throw a jump ball to Taylor Gabriel (never a good idea) in the end zone. The pass was easily intercepted by Pacman Jones, and Manziel noted after the game that no matter what level one is playing football, that pass should never be thrown. In general, Manziel showed what many refer to as rookie playing speed deficiency. Manziel has not had the reps to adjust to the speed of the NFL game. One must remember that he is the youngest quarterback in the NFL, and only four years ago was playing in high school. This lack of processing speed led to his first interception, where Dre Kirkpatrick jumped a crossing route to Andrew Hawkins. Hawkins was open during the entire route, however, Manziel was late on the throw and Kirkpatrick had the easy pick. Those type of throws are completed in college, however, that will not fly in the NFL. Manziel also showed problems with his accuracy, most notably he tended to throw passes high. Of his eight incompletions, four of them were high, otherwise catchable passes. Despite his otherwise poor play, Johnny Manziel did show a great ability of freezing the defense with a combination of his eyes, legs, and hands. Manziel has mastered the pump fake, using it in conjunction with his mobility to gain a few split seconds on his scrambles and to freeze safeties. On the Browns' second drives, Manziel stepped up in the pocket, stared down the linebacker in front of him and faked a scramble, then quickly looked right and darted a pass to Andrew Hawkins, who had slipped behind the defense. Hawkins dropped the ball, but Manziel showed redeeming qualities nonetheless. At the end of the day, Johnny Manziel did not play competently. However, he has two things that are out of his control that are negatively affecting his abilities. First, Kyle Shanahan does not seem to have a grasp on the idea that Manziel is an air raid QB, not a zone-read run-first quarterback. Shanahan seems to have some sort of fetish for running the ball (the Browns run the ball 68% of the time on first down when tied or leading, can you say predictable?), and Johnny Manziel simply doesn't have the size to match up with defensive ends that can match his athleticism. Manziel is not Cam Newton. Manziel is most effective when he is able to get in space and make plays using his weapons in an žair raidÓ system. As to those weapons, the Browns have failed to surround Manziel (or Hoyer) with effective weapons to be successful in the NFL. Josh Gordon is an elite receiver, but outside of Gordon, the Browns have a bunch of WR4/WR5 type of receivers and an inconsistent and banged up Jordan Cameron. With a full week of practice and film study ahead, Johnny Manziel must show improvement next week against the Panthers.

2014 Week 16 vs CAR (3 / 8 / 32 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)

On Sunday, Manziel attempted eight passes before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. Manziel's ability to improvise and make plays after the things break down was more or less nullified by NFL defenses, as the athletes that he faces at this level are at a much more advanced level. Manziel's throws, reads, and scrambles do not occur at the required NFL level. Overall, his game processing speed is subpar and not at a high, enough level to be an NFL starting quarterbacks. That resulted in Andrew Hawkins' injury, where his late and offline throw led Hawkins into a Panthers defender that absolutely laid him out. Manziel is not an NFL starting-caliber thrower, and will require a full off-season to repair his reputation as quarterback.