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Cleveland Browns Training Camp Report: Day 6 - Manziel Steps Up

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Day 6 of Cleveland Browns training camp took place on Wednesday as more players started piling up on the injury report leading up to Friday's scrimmage. Just as you thought a certain quarterback was going to play it low-key this camp, though, he broke out with his best practice in a Browns uniform.

CLEVELAND BROWNS TRAINING CAMP REPORT - DAY 6 (8/5/15)

  1. Manziel Thrives: For the first time this camp, reporters were in agreement: QB Johnny Manziel out-performed veteran QB Josh McCown. Nobody is jumping the gun to say that this is indicative of who will start Week 1 -- something drastic would have to occur for McCown to be on the bench against the Jets. Still, the more confidence that Manziel can build for himself and among his teammates will be important for his development, especially after how last season went.

    Some people have poked fun at the stat tracking that ESPN Cleveland's Jason Gibbs has been doing for Manziel in terms of his completion percentage. Over the long haul, though, the details do reveal that Manziel is either more accurate with the ball or has a better grasp of the playbook. Per ESPN's Pat McManamon, "Unofficially, Manziel is at 67 percent for this year's training camp, up from 52 percent in his rookie season." Not bad.

  2. Receivers Stepping Up: The latest receiver to go down with a hamstring injury is WR Dwayne Bowe. With Bowe and WR Terrelle Pryor both out, that elevates a few of the players at the bottom of the depth chart to see more reps. How did they do?

    Here is former Glenville WR Shane Wynn putting a great double move on S Johnson Bademosi in a 7-on-7 drill (it's interesting that Bademosi is actually lined up at cornerback, the position he entered the NFL at). Per Hayden Grove of The OBR, Wynn also made a nice diving catch on a poor throw by QB Connor Shaw. According to ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi, Wynn did have one blunder -- after a catch, he had the ball popped out from behind for a fumble by S Ibraheim Campbell.

    Heading into the day, the UDFA receiver who has made the most noise is WR Darius Jennings, and he continued to make big plays on Wednesday, including a 60-yard catch and run during 11-on-11 drills. This was one of QB Johnny Manziel's highlight throws of the day, too. WR Brian Hartline has received props from Browns.com two days in a row, as Kevin Jones called him "far and away the biggest playmaker Wednesday." Just when we floated the idea of Hartline being a potential surprise cut out there, he shows why we can probably put that idea to bed.

  3. The Rise of Danny Shelton: We may have our first rookie promotion to a first-team unit, and it is NT Danny Shelton replacing NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen. Shelton's dominance since the start of camp has not gone unnoticed.

  4. Handling the Fullback Situation: With FB Malcolm Johnson out with an injury, where did the Browns turn to fullback during goal line drills? DL Dylan Wynn and OLB Scott Solomon took turns at the position.

    If you recall, last year, the Browns used DL Billy Winn as a fullback when needed. Winn isn't available at the moment as he recovers from an ankle injury suffered a few days ago. The fact that defensive linemen were the "next men up" after Johnson would seem to indicate that the rookie isn't facing any serious competition for his spot on the depth chart. E.J. Bibbs has been drawing rave reviews, but at the tight end position.

  5. Mingo Misses Practice With Knee Injury: OLB Barkevious Mingo missed practice with a knee injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI. Although OLB Scott Solomon is still seeing action with the first-team defense, Mingo's departure meant more reps for rookie OLB Nate Orchard, who had one of his best practices of camp, according to Dan Labbe of the Plain Dealer:
  6. That Kind of Day for McCown: Earlier, I mentioned that it wasn't the finest day for QB Josh McCown. Here are a few examples why: WR Andrew Hawkins also reportedly beat CB Joe Haden deep with a double move, but McCown's pass was off target and ended up being intercepted by CB Tramon Williams. Those were the low-lights, but it wasn't a complete egg that McCown laid: McCown was one of the reasons why WR Brian Hartline (mentioned earlier) had his best practice of camp. OL Joel Bitonio summed up the quarterbacks' performances in camp thus far pretty well:
  7. Interesting Day of Rest: Typically, the veteran players are the ones who receive "rest days" during camp. That's why it was rather...interesting to hear that CB K'Waun Williams did not practice on Wednesday because of a "rest day." With one of the team's top three cornerbacks being rested for the third day in a row, that means that CB Pierre Desir was with the first-team defense once again. Taking Williams' spot as the nickelback? The other Williams, CB Tramon Williams.

  8. Defensive Stand Wins Jerseys at Goal Line: The theme of the day was plays at the goal line, and head coach Mike Pettine had a best-of-nine competition. According to Kevin Jones of Browns.com, the offense was up to a 4-2 lead, only needing to convert once in the final three plays to secure the camouflage jerseys. The successful plays up until that point had included runs by RB Isaiah Crowell and RB Jalen Parmele, and a pass from QB Josh McCown to RB Shaun Draughn.

    The offense tried running the ball on the final three plays but were stuffed each time. Here is one of the stuffs:
  9. Injury Update: It's been awhile since we posted a full list of the current injuries, not including players on the PUP, so here we go: RB Glenn Winston (knee), RB Terrance West (calf), RB Duke Johnson (hamstring), RB Luke Lundy (concussion), FB Malcom Johnson (shoulder), WR Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), OL Joe Madsen (concussion), DL Billy Winn (ankle), CB Robert Nelson (hamstring), and OLB Barkevious Mingo (knee). Most, if not all, of those players will not participate in Friday's scrimmage in Columbus.

  10. Brownies: There were 3,118 fans who attended practice, the highest amount of camp. ... RB Shaun Draughn engaged fans in between drills. ... WR Vince Mayle also had a couple of other nice catches. ... WR Rodney Smith had a couple of dropped passes. ... It'll be interesting to see how TE Rob Housler looks over the next two weeks, because we've heard virtually nothing from him thus far. ... The Browns hosted a live look in today. ... Day 7 of practice is scheduled for 9:30 AM on Thursday (gates open at 8:30 AM).

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