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."

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Scores & Schedules

February 28, 2015 08:07 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

NBA

Friday's Games

Philadelphia 89, Washington 81

Indiana 93, Cleveland 86

Atlanta 95, Orlando 88

Golden State 113, Toronto 89

New York 121, Detroit 115,2OT

Boston 106, Charlotte 98

New Orleans 104, Miami 102

Chicago 96, Minnesota 89

Houston 102, Brooklyn 98

L.A. Clippers 97, Memphis 79

Utah 104, Denver 82

San Antonio 107, Sacramento 96

L.A. Lakers 101, Milwaukee 93

Portland 115, Oklahoma City 112

Saturday's Games

Detroit at Washington, 7 p.m.

Atlanta at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Brooklyn at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

San Antonio at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Milwaukee at Utah, 9 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

Colorado 5, Dallas 4, SO

Boston 3, New Jersey 2, OT

N.Y. Islanders 2, Calgary 1

Carolina 3, Washington 0

Tampa Bay 4, Chicago 0

Anaheim 4, Los Angeles 2

Saturday's Games

Buffalo at Florida, 3 p.m.

Detroit at Nashville, 3 p.m.

Carolina at N.Y. Islanders, 5 p.m.

New Jersey at Columbus, 5 p.m.

Arizona at Boston, 5:30 p.m.

Toronto at Montreal, 7 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Colorado, 10 p.m.

St. Louis at Edmonton, 10 p.m.

Ottawa at San Jose, 10 p.m.

TOP-25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday

No games scheduled

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky vs. (18) Arkansas, 4 p.m.

( 2) Virginia vs. Virginia Tech, 4 p.m.

( 3) Gonzaga vs. BYU, 10 p.m.

( 4) Duke vs. Syracuse, 7 p.m.

( 6) Villanova at Xavier, 2 p.m.

( 7) Arizona at (13) Utah, 9 p.m.

( 8) Kansas vs. Texas, 5 p.m.

(10) Northern Iowa at (11) Wichita State, 2 p.m.

(12) Iowa State at Kansas State, 4 p.m.

(14) Maryland vs. Michigan, Noon

(15) North Carolina at Miami, 2 p.m.

(16) Oklahoma vs. TCU, 2 p.m.

(17) Louisville at Florida State, Noon

(19) Baylor vs. (20) West Virginia, 4 p.m.

(22) VCU vs. Dayton, 2 p.m.

(23) Butler at DePaul, 2 p.m.

(24) San Diego State vs. Boise State, 8 p.m.

TOP-25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Games

(10) Arizona St. 46, Utah 42

(14) Princeton 67, Yale 49

Saturday's Games

( 1) UConn vs. Memphis, 2 p.m.

( 3) Baylor at Iowa State, 4 p.m.

( 7) Oregon State vs. California, 6 p.m.

(14) Princeton vs. Brown, 6 p.m.

(18) Chattanooga vs. ETSU, 2 p.m.

(21) Florida Gulf Coast vs. Jacksonville, 7 p.m.

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