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Johnny is at it again. After an off-season full of distractions and diversions, Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johhny “Football” Manziel added another to the timeline Monday night. He gave the Washington Redskins bench the finger during their preseason game at FedEx Field in Maryland.
"I should have been smarter," Manziel said, reports ESPN. "I felt like I did a good job of holding my composure throughout the night, and you have a lapse of judgment and slip up.”
The “gesture” occurred near the end of the third quarter, after a second-and-7 pass attempt by the former Texas A&M and Heisman standout hit the turf. Manziel was jogging back to the huddle when he threw the finger - no look to boot - over his right shoulder.
As one might imagine, Browns head coach Mike Pettine was not too pleased with this sign of immaturity from his young signal caller.
"It did not sit well," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "Because what we talk about is being poised and being focused -- that you have to be able to maintain your poise."
Cleveland’s opposition, however, exhibited a much different viewpoint.
"It was hilarious," Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo told ESPN. "We were messing with him a little bit.”
Redskins safety Ryan Clark provided a little bit of insight as to just what exactly was so offensive that set Manziel off.
“The statement was, 'This isn't college anymore and these people are faster than you are,'” he told ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike on Tuesday morning. “He didn't like it. And that was me cleaning up the statement.”
Manziel and sixth year Michigan State product Brian Hoyer have been locked in a heated competition since Manziel was drafted 22nd overall in May. While Hoyer had the jump on the race for most of it, who will start come opening day versus Pittsburgh is anyone's guess.
He’s certainly right about that. Hoyer completed a paltry two out of his six passes against Washington for 16 yards. Manziel was 7-16 passing for 65 yards and one score. In fact, third-stringer Connor Shaw was the only one who looked like he belonged on Monday night, connecting on eight of nine attempts for 123 yards and a score as well.
Perhaps the Browns should forget this whole two-man competition thing and start Shaw instead? Maybe they’ll wait until next week and see what Shaw does to the St. Louis Rams on Aug. 23.