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Wilbert Montgomery adds to confusion of Johnny Manziel trick play

The Cleveland Browns' assistant coaches were available on Wednesday before the bye week. This is another in a continuing series of short posts highlighting the issues they addressed.

BEREA, Ohio -- Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery added confusion Wednesday to the discussion about whether Brian Hoyer's pass to Johnny Manziel was legal.

Montgomery said the back judge told him after the play in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore that he knew the play was illegal and was going to throw the flag.

Except he didn’t.

"He said he was gonna call it," Montgomery said.

The play was illegal because Manziel lined up too close to the Browns' bench area; he needed to be at least five yards from the sideline. But the officials never called that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and coach Mike Pettine said he was told the way the Browns ran the play was within the rules.

Montgomery said he knew the formation was illegal, and he was hoping the refs wouldn’t see it. According to him, they did.

"He was going to call it," Montgomery said.

That might not make everything clear. But on the half-full side, the illegal shift that was called against Cleveland on the play instead of unsportsmanlike conduct saved the Browns 10 yards.