- Associated Press - Saturday, August 2, 2014

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Johnny Manziel was back in his element: on campus, in a stadium on a Saturday.

And on the field, Manziel may have tightened the competition to be Cleveland’s starter.

Cleveland’s rookie quarterback, whose electrifying scrambles and how-did-he-do-that passes made him a college football superstar, showed off some of those dazzling and daring skills as the Browns took a short trip south of their training camp to scrimmage at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.

Manziel and Brian Hoyer took their quarterback battle into the public and in front of 20,673 fans, who didn’t see much offensive scoring - there were two field goals and two defensive touchdowns - but got a chance to see Johnny Football in the flesh.

Manziel made some plays with his legs and rocket arm. Shaking off a sloppy start on his first series, he scrambled from trouble and completed two passes by firing completions into tight windows. He had a touchdown pass dropped and had another TD ruled out of bounds on a play that may have been reversed by instant replay.

Nothing spectacular, but steady.

“Some good, some bad,” Manziel said of his performance. “I thought we moved the ball after the first drive pretty well and then I was told we had a 16-play drive on the second drive, which is good. We’re keeping the chains moving. It was nice.”

Manziel worked exclusively with Cleveland’s second-team offense, but it’s possible he’ll get some reps with the starters next week as the Browns prepare for their exhibition opener Saturday in Detroit.

Hoyer entered training camp with a lead over Manziel, but after one week of practice and the unscripted scrimmage, the gap between the two QBs appears to have narrowed.

On three drives that began at the 30-yard line, Hoyer completed 7 of 11 passes for 56 yards and led the Browns to one field goal.

Manziel went 3 of 7 for 14 yards, and had two carries for 18 yards.

Browns coach Mike Pettine didn’t want to analyze every pass until he watches videotape, but he felt both QBs were efficient in moving their respective units.

Pettine was asked if he would characterize the QB competition as being closer than when camp opened.

“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “When camp began, Brian was the No. 1 because we had to have someone out there with the ones, but they were truly competing against each other. At some point, we will mix the units. It’s all part of our evaluation process.”

Hoyer is doing all he can to hold off Manziel, but without Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon on the field, he doesn’t have a dependable first option.

Story Continues →