DAVID BIANCULLI

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
August 18, 2014  | By David Bianculli

ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

PRESEASON PREMIERE: This is a preseason game, so it doesn’t count in the standings once the season begins. But that doesn’t mean this opening game, pitting the Cleveland Browns vs. the Washington Redskins, is devoid of drama. Over on the Browns side, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer is battling not only the opposing defense, but his own teammate: this year’s top draft pick, Johnny Manziel, has been assigned to lead the offense on alternating possessions. So if he shines while Hoyer fizzles, the new kid could emerge with the starting job by the time the season starts. And over on the Redskins side, there’s a new NFL coach, Jay Gruden, trying to guide talented quarterback Robert Griffin III to a much better season that last year. Oh, and in the broadcast booth for ESPN? It’s the former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jon Gruden, Jay’s older brother.

 
 
 
 
 
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