Cleveland Browns receiver Nate Burleson said quarterback Johnny Manziel is "still the man" despite not being named the team's starter, Ohio.com's Nate Ulrich reports.
The Browns named Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback over Manziel on Tuesday.
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Burleson, entering his first season with the Browns, said Manziel will still have a successful career.
“Johnny’s still the man,” Burleson, who has 11 NFL seasons under his belt, said Thursday after practice. “He’s still a really good quarterback. He’s an NFL-quality starting quarterback. ... Johnny being the No. 2, as you want to call it, we got arguably the best No. 2 in the NFL."
Manziel has reportedly struggled to learn Cleveland's playbook after not using one in college at Texas A&M. Burleson said Manziel, the No. 22 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, needs to improve parts of his game, including mastering the playbook.
"It’s not a bad thing for him to be the No. 2 [quarterback] Week 1. He is a rookie, still has a lot to learn and to do as a professional and as a player when it comes to the playbook. He’s going to be all right. I’m a Johnny Football fan.”
The Browns play their third preseason game on Saturday against the St. Louis Rams. The starters are expected to play most of the first half.
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- Paul Palladino