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Mike Pettine denies that Johnny Manziel has moved past Brian Hoyer

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeThe Cleveland Browns have played just one preseason game, and already there is speculation that Johnny Manziel could be the favorite to land the starting quarterback job come Week 1. Manziel has been closing the gap in the QB race with Brian Hoyer during training camp. However, head coach Mike Pettine insists the job is still up for grabs.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pettine said in a conference call Sunday that there is no “clearcut favorite” for the starting job and that a report from ESPN’s Bob Holtzman about Manziel moving ahead of Hoyer on the depth chart is “untrue.”

While Pettine said Manziel has shown great improvement, he claims Hoyer has done nothing to lose the starting job to this point. He also said he would like to name a starting quarterback by the Browns’ third preseason game but there is no guarantee it will happen.

A lot of people feel that Manziel should spend some time holding a clipboard before he starts, but it seems like Hoyer is a lame duck. Even if Hoyer does start in Week 1, you know he will be on an incredibly short leash. Fans already want to see Manziel, which is going to put a ton of pressure on Hoyer. It’s only a matter of time before Johnny Football gets his shot.

Johnny Manziel could be Browns’ starter Week 1

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeEverything sounded like Brian Hoyer would be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns to begin the season, but that might not be a guarantee.

Johnny Manziel played well enough in the team’s scrimmage Saturday to get first-team reps on Monday. That development was not much of a surprise given the reports that said Manziel had closed the gap in the starting QB race with Hoyer. Part of that is due to Manziel making some dynamic plays and part is due to Hoyer being unspectacular.

But does that mean Hoyer needs to watch out for his starting job?

ESPN reporter Pat McManamon even says Manziel could be considered for the season opener against the Steelers. A lot of that depends on how each QB performs during the preseason games. If Manziel completely outplays Hoyer, then there is a real possibility he could end up as the Week 1 starter.

Johnny Manziel may be closing the gap with Brian Hoyer

Johnny Manziel Brian Hoyer

Johnny Manziel’s biggest obstacle to taking over the starting quarterback job of the Cleveland Browns may not be Brian Hoyer, but his ability to learn the playbook.

During the week, Manziel said learning the playbook has been his struggle because there are so many nuances to it. Hoyer has been the team’s starter during training camp, and offensive line anchor Joe Thomas compared him to Tom Brady. Despite all the praise, Manziel has more natural ability than Hoyer, and that was on display during a Saturday scrimmage.

The Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich reports that Manziel appeared “to have narrowed the gap between himself and Hoyer with his performance in the scrimmage.”

Head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will talk about giving Manziel more reps with the first-team offense since he’s been working with the second-string mostly. It sounds like he will probably get that chance.

During the scrimmage, Hoyer led the first-team offense against the first-team defense and got a crack at the second-team defense. Manziel had two drives against the second-team defense. Hoyer’s drives against the first-team defense did not result in points, but he got a field goal against the second-team. Manziel went 3-and-out in his first drive and then led the offense to the goal line in his second drive, though they were stopped on 4th down.

Hoyer will probably keep the starting job for at least six games barring injury, but Manziel is getting into the mix.

Andre Reed: F— Bon Jovi and who the f— is Johnny Manziel?

Andre-ReedBuffalo Bills legend Andre Reed is not happy with some of the current story lines in the NFL. The Hall of Fame wide receiver was recently interviewed for this week’s edition of New York Magazine, and he offered some very colorful takes on Jon Bon Jovi and Johnny Manziel. We’ll start with the former.

Bon Jovi is rumored to be interested in buying the Bills. And if the famous rock star can put together the group that makes the winning bid, he might move the Bills to Toronto. Take it away, Andre.

“Man, f— Bon Jovi!” Reed told New York Magazine’s Reeves Wiedeman. “You might as well just take this city, throw it in the river, and let it go down Niagara Falls.”

Reed’s opinion is one that is shared by all diehard Bills fans and many NFL purists. However, he did later admit that Toronto is a fun city and concede that he would remain connected to a Bills team in Toronto “if they paid me.”

“Now, I ain’t gonna lie to you,” Reed said. “One year I went up to Toronto, and man, I had a good-ass time up there.”

Wiedeman’s conversation with Reed got even more animated from there. It just so happened that the interview took place on the day LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland. When ESPN showed Manziel’s tweet congratulating LeBron and referring to him as “my guy,” Reed went off on the former Heisman Trophy winner.

“Who the f— is Johnny Manziel?” he asked. “LeBron ain’t your guy! You’re not ‘Johnny Football.’ You’re ‘Johnny Rookie B–ch.’”

Would Bills fans have been excited if their team drafted Manziel? Not a chance, says Reed.

“They’d boo that motherf—er outta here,” he said. “The fans would put him in his place.”

We all know that isn’t true, as all fans tend to get excited when their team drafts a Heisman-winning quarterback. That said, it’s obvious Reed cares a great deal about the team he spent 15 seasons with. I wouldn’t dare question his loyalty.

H/T Extra Mustard

Browns reportedly ‘alarmed’ by Johnny Manziel’s behavior, alleged cocaine picture

Johnny Manziel rolling bill bathroom money

The Cleveland Browns have been “alarmed” by some of Johnny Manziel’s behavior and the rookie is losing ground in the starting quarterback race, according to a report.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group says the Browns feel deceived by Manziel, who told them he would leave behind his frat-boy ways from college if the team drafted him. Instead, he’s been out partying frequently since being drafted, spending weekends in Las Vegas, LA, Houston and other cities.

Cabot says the photo of Manziel with a rolled-up bill in a Las Vegas bathroom — a photo that implies potential cocaine use — is just one thing that has the team concerned. But that’s not the only reason the Browns are supposedly worried.

Here’s what Cabot writes:

Manziel regressed in practice after the first week of organized team activities, and some in the organization attributed it to too much jet-setting and not enough dedication to the playbook.

Team officials had bought into Manziel’s pre-draft promises to tone down the partying and leave his frat-boy lifestyle back in College Station, Texas, and they’ve been stunned by his non-stop antics, sources said.

Manziel has stood up to some of the criticism about him traveling/partying by saying he could study his playbook while also enjoying himself. Some with the Browns apparently feel otherwise.

[Related - Mike Pettine: I told Johnny Manziel to have fun in Las Vegas]

Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine has plans to announce a starting quarterback by Week 3 of the preseason. Brian Hoyer will end up being the starter in all likelihood; Pettine has said Hoyer is the team’s starter for now.

Though the Browns have concerns about Manziel’s behavior, the rookie supposedly has been working hard. He’s been working out and practicing with his private quarterback coach George Whitfield, according to Cabot’s report. There is also the belief that he will be more focused and plugged-in now that camp has started.

I find the timing of this report extremely interesting. The Browns went from supporting Manziel and defending his behavior to now saying Hoyer is the starter. Is it possible they also let this story out because they’re trying to scare Manziel straight? It’s not a stretch for me to believe that could be the case.

Mike Pettine spoke to Johnny Manziel about rolled up bill picture

Johnny Manziel rolling bill bathroom money

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine says he has spoken to Johnny Manziel about some of the photos that have been taken of the former Texas A&M star throughout the offseason. More specifically, Pettine asked Manziel about the photo that showed him rolling up a $20 bill in front of a bathroom sink.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Manziel “responded positively” to Pettine’s questions. Pettine would not, however, share any details of the conversation.

“I don’t want to get into a (public) discussion of every picture that comes out, but I talked to him about it,” the first-year coach said. “We anticipate this will quiet down once the season starts. As committed as Johnny is to football, this stuff should not be an issue once camp gets underway.”

Pettine said that he would only be concerned about Manziel’s behavior if it continued throughout the season, which seemed to indicate that the team is not all that thrilled with the headlines Manziel has created. Pettine also said he spoke to Manziel about the infamous “money phone” video and has reason to believe it was not recent.

“I haven’t verified it, but somebody told me that it wasn’t recent,” Pettine said.

Rookies will report to Browns training camp on Wednesday. As we inch closer to the regular season, the spotlight on Manziel is only going to get brighter. If Manziel struggles on the field and photos of him partying continue to surface, the media is going to crucify him.

Johnny Manziel scores Snickers endorsement deal

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel may not see the field in the early part of his rookie season, but that does not mean he won’t be all over our TVs.

Manziel has signed an endorsement deal with Snickers and will be featured in their “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, according to ESPN.

Manziel’s deal with Snickers comes after he’s filmed commercials for McDonald’s, Nissan and Nike. The Snickers commercial will be a national spot.

Johnny Manziel racking up endorsement deals without even playing an NFL snap? Great googly moogly.