Cleveland Browns Rumors: Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel Struggle in OTAs as Duke Johnson Absence Helps Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West with Rob Housler, Dwayne Bowe

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May 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT
Johnny Manziel
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel throws passes during offseason practice."

Head coach Mike Pettine was not thrilled with what he saw from the Cleveland Browns in their first day of OTAs. The head coach has stressed that he wants to find an identity for the team this season, especially on offense which has seen a number of changes over the past few seasons. Pettine made it clear that the players look sloppy for most of practice and that needed to change immediately.

"I think it's a typical first day, some sloppiness," Pettine said, via There are rookies integrating with the vets, just kind of learning how to practice. Then, the one thing that from a scheme standpoint, we've put a lot in both sides of the ball and we're going to do some things to test each other and some of it tests ourselves - guys getting lined up. It was, like I said, a typical first day - a lot of good teaching moments on tape. The key is that we can go in and get it graded and go through it with them and the mistakes are getting corrected and not repeated."

The quarterback play was under the microscope for the first practice as neither Josh McCown nor Johnny Manziel did much to impress early. McCown took at the first-team snaps while Manziel worked as the backup and Connor Shaw operated with the third team. Things did not look great for either quarterback as they adapt to a new offensive system and wide receiver set. Several throws were missed. However, Manziel was praised for his offseason improvement as Pettine was thrilled with the quarterback who showed up more mature and dedicated than last season.

"I have a little better feel for it now, having been in a lot of those meetings," Pettine said. "He's been very engaged in the meetings. It's good to see a lot of stuff carried over from the meetings out onto the field, and not just for him but for all the quarterbacks. I just feel much better...from that room a better sense of urgency and much more attention to detail."

The running back position is another area for focus for the Browns. Rookie Duke Johnson was not present on the first day of OTAs which was not a welcomed site considering he is expected to play a large role in the new offense in both the run game and passing game. Pettine downplayed the issue saying it was travel problems for the former Miami star. That certainly helped push Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. According to Bleacher Report, Crowell could actually be favored for the starting role as West will operate as the backup and Johnson will be more of a situational player. 

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