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Manziel's gesture taints Browns' loss to Redskins

Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Manziel's gesture taints Browns' loss to Redskins story image

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - If the Cleveland Browns pick a quarterback based solely on numbers, there's not much either Johnny Manziel or Brian Hoyer did to show he deserves the job.

If the choice is based on maturity, the hot-shot rookie's obscene gesture lost him some ground to the nondescript sixth-year veteran.

Manziel raised his middle finger toward the opponents' bench as he returned to the huddle late in the third quarter of Monday night's 24-23 loss to the Washington Redskins. Truth be told, it was one of the few times a Browns QB actually found his intended target.

"It does not sit well," Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said. "It's disappointing, because what we talk about is being poised and being focused. ... That's a big part of all football players, especially the quarterback."

Manziel called the moment a "lapse of judgment" and suggested it was brought about by another game of unprintable verbal grief from another team's players and fans. He was openly mocked by Brian Orakpo in the first quarter when the Redskins linebacker raised both hands and performed the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's "money" gesture after a sack by Ryan Kerrigan.

"I get words exchanged throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week, and I should've been smarter," Manziel said. "It was a 'Monday Night Football' game, and cameras were probably solid on me, and I just need to be smarter about that.

"It's there, and it's present every game, and I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play."

Meanwhile, Pettine needs to pick a starting quarterback. The performances were so unspectacular that the coach suggested he might audible from his previously stated plan of announcing his regular-season starter on Tuesday.

"All the options are still on the table," Pettine said.

Hoyer started Monday night and completed 2 of 6 passes for 16 yards. His self-assessment: "It probably couldn't have been any worse. It's disappointing. It was embarrassing."

Manziel, the No. 22 pick in the NFL draft, was 7 for 16 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Of his series early in the game, he said: "I really tried to force everything and not let it fly like I should have. I need to get better at that and throw the dang ball."

Those stats, as mediocre as they are, were padded by series against the Redskins' backups. In the first quarter - when Washington's starters were in the game - Manziel was 2 for 7 for 29 yards, and Hoyer was 0 for 2.

"They both missed some throws," Pettine said.

If there's any hint as to which way Pettine is leaning, it's worth noting that Hoyer started for the second consecutive game and played mostly with the first-team offense. Manziel was sent out with the reserves to play in the second half.

Manziel took advantage by leading a 16-play, 68-yard drive capped by an 8-yard pass to Dion Lewis for Cleveland's first touchdown.

But the six points were overshadowed by the one finger.

"A lot of people just scream out things that are very, very disrespectful," Browns cornerback Joe Haden said. "He's just got to zone it out."

Sports Team


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Sports News

Scores & Schedules

November 24, 2014 08:09 GMT

NFL

Thursday's Game

Oakland 24, Kansas City 20

Sunday's Games

Green Bay 24, Minnesota 21

Cincinnati 22, Houston 13

Chicago 21, Tampa Bay 13

Cleveland 26, Atlanta 24

Philadelphia 43, Tennessee 24

New England 34, Detroit 9

Indianapolis 23, Jacksonville 3

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo, ppd., snow

Seattle 19, Arizona 3

San Diego 27, St. Louis 24

San Francisco 17, Washington 13

Denver 39, Miami 36

Dallas 31, N.Y. Giants 28

Open: Carolina, Pittsburgh

Monday's Games

N.Y. Jets vs. Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Baltimore at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m.

NBA

Sunday's Games

Memphis 107, L.A. Clippers 91

Miami 94, Charlotte 93

Portland 94, Boston 88

Golden State 91, Oklahoma City 86

Denver 101, L.A. Lakers 94, OT

Monday's Games

Portland at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Orlando at Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Phoenix at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

New York at Houston, 8 p.m.

Indiana at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Chicago at Utah, 9 p.m.

NHL

Sunday's Games

St. Louis 4, Winnipeg 2

N.Y. Rangers 5, Montreal 0

Anaheim 2, Arizona 1

Vancouver 4, Chicago 1

Monday's Games

Pittsburgh at Boston, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Ottawa at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

MLS

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP Eastern Conference New England vs. New York

Leg 1 -- Sunday, Nov. 23: New England 2, New York 1

Leg 2 -- Saturday, Nov. 29: New York at New England, 3 p.m.

Western Conference LA Galaxy vs. Seattle

Leg 1 -- Sunday, Nov. 23: LA Galaxy 1, Seattle 0

Leg 2 -- Sunday, Nov. 30: LA Galaxy at Seattle, 9 p.m.

MLS CUP

Sunday, Dec. 7: New England-New York winner at LA Galaxy-Seattle winner, 3 p.m.

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