BEREA, Ohio — Johnny Manziel, so full of swagger and cool, understands his limitations. He’s only a rookie.
And as the celebrity quarterback prepares for Cleveland’s exhibition on Monday night in Washington, a game that could decide whether he or Brian Hoyer starts the season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7, Manziel acknowledged he’s still got a lot to learn.
“I don’t think I’m ready for Pittsburgh right now,” he said.
Manziel, though, was quick to point out that he’s made progress during training camp, and he expects to get better running Cleveland’s offense.
“I’ve only played one game, but the more and more you see it, the more you get familiar with it, the better it will be,” Manziel said after practice Saturday.
Manziel and Hoyer will split time with Cleveland’s first-team offense against the Redskins in a game being hyped as a nationally televised matchup between Johnny Football and RG3, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Hoyer, who entered camp as the No. 1 QB and has done nothing to lose his starting job, was unaware that he’s not part of the ratings campaign.
“I don’t watch ESPN,” he said. “It doesn’t matter, because what matters is what coach (Mike) Pettine thinks and what (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) thinks. The media can make any story they want. I avoid all of that. When it comes down to it, they’re not the ones making the decisions.”
Pettine plans to meet with his staff and pick a starter Tuesday.
NEWTON READY FOR RETURN TO FIELD: In Charlotte, N.C., Cam Newton will see his first game action since undergoing ankle surgery in March when the Panthers host the Kansas City Chiefs.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera expects Newton to play at least a quarter on Sunday night, but he could see additional action depending on how well the offensive line protects him.
HOLMES AGREES TO DEAL: In Chicago, former Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
The team also announced receiver and kick returner Eric Weems was released.
X-RAYS ON CARR NEGATIVE: In Alameda, Calif., Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr avoided a serious rib injury from a hard hit that knocked him out of an exhibition game against the Detroit Lions.
Coach Dennis Allen said Saturday that X-rays on Carr’s ribs were negative. Carr also suffered a concussion on the hard hit by Larry Webster on Friday night and must pass the league protocols before he is able to return to practice this week.
Carr played well in his second pro game, completing 9 of 16 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. He even got one series with the first-team offense, but Allen said Matt Schaub will get most of the time with the starters in the dress rehearsal game at Green Bay on Friday.