"I think that Brian [Hoyer] is securely ahead of [Johnny Manziel] right now, but we will compete and we will decide."
-Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine says rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel will start training camp behind Brian Hoyer on the depth chart. Manziel, a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is expected to be the Browns' franchise quarterback going forward, but the team seems committed to keeping it a true competition.
Pettine said that Hoyer is "securely ahead" of Manziel, but that he doesn't think his lead is "insurmountable." He also said there will be a competition between the two, and that Manziel will get some reps with the first team, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN. Hoyer completed 59.4 percent of his passes in three games last season, throwing for 615 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. Those are hardly game-breaking numbers, but the Browns felt good about him up until he got injured.
Still, just about everyone assumes Manziel will end up starting in Week 1. It's a new regime in Cleveland (yet again), and the first order of business will be getting the quarterback position settled. Many in the organization believe taking Brandon Weeden in the first round was a move made out of desperation, but the Browns were always clearly interested in Manziel, and managed to get him at No. 22 in the first round this offseason.
"We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond."
-Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons owner
The Atlanta Falcons will be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks this summer, beginning on Aug. 5. The team announced the move on Thursday, with owner Arthur Blank releasing a statement in which he says they're excited to give fans a look at "what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond."
It's the first time the Falcons will be featured on the program, and it's worth noting that the team chose to do it, meaning they were not forced to do so by the NFL. There are specific rules as to which teams were eligible to be forced to do the show, and the Falcons having been to the playoffs in one of the past two seasons, were not among them. It seems as though most teams don't want to go on Hard Knocks, so most assumed that one of the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders or Pittsburgh Steelers would be on the program.
Instead, we'll get a look at the Falcons, who went from being among the NFL's elite to a 4-12 team last season. They're not exactly in full-on rebuilding mode, as the Falcons expect these players to win sooner rather than later.
"I don't know about [Jon] Beason. It's a foot, he was running across the field and felt something in the bottom of his foot."
-Tom Coughlin, New York Giants head coach
Linebacker Jon Beason was carted off the practice field on Thursday, during organized team activities. Beason is dealing with a foot injury, though the extent of that injury is not yet known. Beason is undergoing tests to figure out what's wrong and the severity of the injury, according to Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com.
Tom Coughlin only said that the injury was related to Beason's foot, saying the linebacker "felt something in the bottom of his foot" while running across the field. Beason is the starter at inside linebacker and when healthy is one of the best in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have been a mainstay of his career thus far, which is why the Carolina Panthers originally replaced and parted with him. He's dealt with significant Achilles, knee and shoulder injuries over the years.
"As I said from day one, I would never do the things that were made up about me. I'm glad this issue is resolved."
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's office announced on Thursday that they will not be pressing charges against San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, wide receiver Quinton Patton or Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. This stems from an investigation in Florida in which a woman alleged that she may have been the victim of sexual assault, but a release from the aforementioned attorney's office says there was "no evidence" to suggest this might be true.
Initially, the whole thing was reported as a "suspicious incident." When the initial report came out, Kaepernick, the higher profile player in this investigation, tweeted about his innocence. He wrapped things up with another tweet on Thursday, saying that he "would never do the things that were made up" about him. He said that he is "glad this issue is resolved" and finished with a simple "It's time for football."
"I'm trying to get with [Kyle Orton]. He's trying to get with me. And hopefully we have a good conversation."
-Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys head coach
The Dallas Cowboys like what Brandon Weeden brings to the table when it comes to the backup quarterback position, but the team is still interested in keeping Kyle Orton around as a fallback, according to Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram. Head coach Jason Garrett said that he hasn't spoken to Orton, but that he hopes to soon, and that he hopes they "have a good conversation."
Orton has skipped the voluntary offseason program, including all of organized team activities. It sounds as though he's contemplating retirement, but that would mean he'd have to pay back $3 million of his $5 million signing bonus. Weeden struggled big time as the starter for the Browns last season, and while Orton hasn't been flawless, he's shown much, much more on the field than Weeden. Tony Romo is the starter, but is getting up there in years and has dealt with significant injuries in the past.