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Browns just fine with Johnny Manziel's light rushing day

One yard. That's it. And there wasn't a soul in the Browns locker room who was upset about it.

That yard was all quarterback Johnny Manziel mustered on three rushing attempts Sunday against the Titans. It was a stark contrast from one week earlier, when the second-year quarterback and veteran Josh McCown were the team's top two rushers.

Browns coach Mike Pettine wasn't complaining.

"I think he has a good sense of when to get out of the pocket if it opens up," Pettine said. "I thought they did a good job of running some interior line games where you could tell they game planned for it, whereas New York did not. Just my sense from the sideline there weren't kind of as many gaping scramble lanes. I thought they did a good job of keeping him the pocket."

When Manziel was flushed out of the pocket, his focus remained downfield. On top of his highlight-reel, game-sealing touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin, Manziel made a number of controlled passes while moving to his right or left.

On a first-and-10 from Tennessee's 40-yard line, Manziel rolled to his right and identified Andrew Hawkins, who created some space for himself near the hash marks. The pass went for 18 yards and preceded the Browns' second touchdown of the first quarter.

Late in the second quarter, Manziel attempted his only true scramble run of the game. He evaded a few tacklers and slid for a 2-yard gain, narrowing avoiding the kind of big hit that was far too common against the Jets.

Cleveland's running backs, meanwhile, combined for 115 yards on 27 carries after gaining just 42 the previous week.

This was more like it.

"The way our offensive line worked today, really pushing them around, was awesome to see," Manziel said. "When it's not on the quarterback having to run the ball, only having to run when it's a third down or trying to make something happen, we can have the running backs take most of those blows and really push the ball down the field. That's all you can ask for."

What will be asked more of Manziel this week, whether he's starting or not, will center heavily on his ball security. Manziel put the ball on the ground twice for a second consecutive week, but was helped out both times by teammates who were able to fall on the ball and prevent a turnover.

Manziel's focus on it sounds a lot like the advice a Little League coach preaches to his players: Two hands on the ball.

"I don't know what's going on, but it can't happen," Manziel said. "Luckily able to get both of those back, but that could have been a huge turning point. That's one of the things that I'm still really hard on myself. I think I did a better job of last week, having two hands on it, but still not the result we want."

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