THE WORK: Once the Jason Pinkston situation was briefly discussed after practice, the first question asked of coach Mike Pettine was this: “Did Manziel take a step back today?” Point asked, point taken. Because it sure looked like he did. Manziel was indecisive, slow in his reads, quick to leave the pocket and sloppy with his throws. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play was wonderful. It’s best not to make too much of this, because guys will have bad days; but on this particular day, Manziel did little to quell the critics who would say he spent too much time taking party photos in the offseason and not enough mastering a complicated new system. It’s an easy criticism, but one that will arise anytime he struggles. Manziel’s body language reflected his frustration with the way things went. It simply was not a good day.
GOOD THROW: Typical that it happened when Manziel made something happen out of nothing. Manziel did not handle a low snap but he was able to pick up the ball and run to his right before planting and completing a pass across the middle to Miles Austin. The throw just beat the coverage, and came when Manziel does what he does best: improvise.
BAD THROW: After seeing nothing initially in seven-on-seven, Manziel rolled right and tried to sidearm a throw. It was poorly thrown, underthrown and almost intercepted. Bad decision, bad throw.
THE WORD: From Nate Burleson, on how the receivers view the QB competition: “We don’t ever think about [who’s ahead]. ... I’m not just saying that here and being politically correct about it. My whole career, it doesn’t matter who’s in. Most of the time we don’t think about it. It’s not like we’re jogging to the huddle and we think, 'Johnny's in' or '[Brian Hoyer's] in.'"
START CHART: On a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 meaning Manziel certainly starts the opener, we'll take a three-times-per-week look at his chances. Based on this one day, and based on Hoyer's good day, it drops from a 3 on the first day to a 1 on the second day.