Here are some final thoughts from the Cleveland Browns Family Day scrimmage that took place at the University of Akron's InfoCision Stadium on Saturday.
1. If the University of Akron wanted to use the Browns Family Day as a rehearsal to host the team's training camp, things went fairly well. The flow of people was smooth, from parking to waiting in line to get in the stadium. The scrimmage started at 11:13 a.m. instead of the advertised 11:30 a.m. so the team could avoid the weather. With the early start, the crowd of 20,673 filed in quickly.
The biggest drawback for UA hosting Browns training camp is a lack of natural grass playing fields. InfoCision Stadium uses artificial turf, as does one of the practice fields on campus. The only natural grass area the team could practice on is FirstEnergy Stadium, the school's soccer field. If UA wants to increase its chances of hosting the Browns, another field may have to be built.
2. By the looks of the crowd, more people were wearing Manziel merchandise than any other player. Considering Manziel has the highest-selling jersey in the NFL, that shouldn't be a surprise. Watching him on the field, it's easy to see why Manziel is so popular. When a play broke down -- and they often did with Manziel behind the second team offensive line -- the rookie quarterback effortlessly pulled the ball down for a run. Against live competition in a preseason or regular season game, Manziel may not have that option.
3. Speaking of option, the Browns ran it with Manziel. On a second down play during Manziel's second drive he pulled the ball down on read option play. The play went for nine yards and was one of the highlights of Manziel's 16-play drive. That wasn't the only deceptive play the Browns utitlized with Manziel. On the following play, the team lined up in the pistol. That had Manziel in the shotgun, running back Terrance West behind him and fullback Ray Agnew at his side. The play was only a one-yard run for Agnew, but it's a play that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan ran with Robert Griffin III with the Washington Redskins.
4. Despite some flashes from the offense, the scrimmage was a day for the defense. Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo obviously made the big play with a 48-yard interception return.
Jacobbi McDaniel tipped Hoyer pass, Mingo intercepted it and returned 48 yards to 32. #BrownsFamilyDay— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 2, 2014
Fellow linebacker Jabaal Sheard also made several plays, and was often around the ball on run plays. Backup Zac Diles also factored into a few plays.
The defense intercepted three passes -- two from Connor Shaw and one Tyler Thigpen. The offense scored no touchdowns. Kicker Billy Cundiff, however, successfully converted three field goals, including one of 53 yards.
5. Quarterback Brian Hoyer was exclusively the quarterback for the first team. Several of his seven completions went to wide receiver Miles Austin. On the first drive of the scrimmage Hoyer completed two long passes to Austin. That should be encouraging to Browns coaches who expect Austin to be the No. 1 wide receiver if Josh Gordon gets suspended.