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Derek Carr making case to play sooner for Raiders; O’Brien: Manziel in ‘great situation’

Posted Jun 13, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff.

Derek Carr, Bill O'Brien, EJ Manuel

It’s entirely possible that the Oakland Raiders will stick to the plan of going with veteran Matt Schaub, whom they acquired in a trade with Houston, as their starting quarterback this season and allowing second-round draft pick Derek Carr to watch and learn.

However, Carr is making a valid case to be in the mix sooner. By most accounts, he has been highly impressive during offseason workouts.

Impressive enough that Raiders coach Dennis Allen has seen what he described as “significant improvement” in Carr. Impressive enough that offensive coordinator Greg Olson has gone as far as to say that Carr has been “better than we thought he would be.”

“I really, really like him,” Olson was quoted as saying in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everybody knew he was accurate, but he is more accurate than we thought. …We’ll have to wait and see how he does against a live rush, but so far his intelligence, accuracy and quickness in getting the ball out has been excellent.”

TEXANS COACH: JOHNNY MANZIEL ‘IN A GREAT SITUATION’ WITH BROWNS

Naturally, plenty of people in Houston had hoped the hometown NFL team would draft local hero Johnny Manziel.

Instead, the Texans used the top overall pick on a pass-rusher, Jadeveon Clowney, and used a fourth-round pick on quarterback Tom Savage to challenge likely starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.

During a question-and-answer session at a Houston high school, Texans coach Bill O’Brien explained that, although he didn’t see Manziel as a good fit on his club, he saw plenty of positive qualities in the former Texas A&M star. O’Brien also said Manziel has every reason to be pleased with ending up with the Cleveland Browns.

“We spent a lot of time with Johnny and I had great meetings with him,” O’Brien was quoted as saying on CSNHouston.com. “He is a bright guy and I really enjoyed watching him play in college on film and enjoyed talking with him. 

“We have a vision for our football team and we stuck to that vision. Every decision we made in the draft we felt led to that vision and we’ll see if that vision turns out the way we believe it will in whatever, a year, two years, three years. It was what we believed in and we stuck with it and we stayed disciplined in the draft.

“And Johnny’s in a great situation in Cleveland.”

DOUG MARRONE IMPRESSED WITH PROGRESS OF EJ MANUEL, BILLS’ OFFENSE

EJ Manuel and the rest of the Buffalo Bills’ offense have faced an enormous challenge in being force-fed the entire playbook this offseason, and there are plenty of times it has shown on the practice field, according to most accounts.

However, second-year Bills coach Doug Marrone says he has been highly impressed with the performance of his second-year quarterback.

“Really when you look at the volume we have in, which is really full scale, everything right now, he’s made a great amount of improvement in things he didn’t do as well last year,” Marrone was quoted as saying in the Buffalo News. “It starts with the foundation – his footwork. So I’m really excited about where he is and the amount of stuff we’ve put on his plate.”

Added Manuel, “We put in a lot of offense. When you’re game-planning, it’s different. You only have 60 or 70 plays in a game plan. But right now we’re putting in the house. That’s why I say over-communicating is extremely important for us.”

VON MILLER INSPIRED BY ADRIAN PETERSON IN COMEBACK ATTEMPT

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller insists he isn’t worried about his ability to return to top form from the torn ACL he suffered last December.

That’s because he’s using the incredible comeback of Minnesota Vikings running back from a torn ACL and MCL in December, 2011, as motivation. Peterson came back the next season to rush for 2,097 yards and win the 2012 NFL MVP award.

Miller has been “getting after it” in offseason drills. Although, according to the Denver Post, he doesn’t participate in 11-on-11 sessions, he has gone full speed in individual and position drills.

“I’m looking at the Adrian Peterson story every single day,” Miller told the Denver Post. “It’s motivation for me. Not only Adrian Peterson, but all those other guys you’ve never heard about coming off an ACL. I did a lot of research, a lot of reading into ACL surgery.”

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