Defensive end Billy Winn
jokes with rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel after an offseason practice. (Mark Duncan/AP)
Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine has been put in a very tough spot for a first-time head coach. Not only is he tasked with trying to resurrect an organization that is the centerpiece of a lot of jokes around the NFL, but also he has to go through his first training camp with one of the biggest rockstar-like figures to ever come out of college battling for the starting QB position, Johnny Manziel.
Yes, despite a few of the other positions on the field that need some addressing this summer as the team gets set for the 2014 season, the heavy majority of the focus will be on the impending quarterback duel between Manziel and projected starter Brian Hoyer.
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It's definitely going to be a pressure-filled summer for Pettine, but as he reiterated to the NFL Network crew on Thursday morning, media pressure on him or not, the starter will be determined by who plays better, not who sells the most merchandise.
"[Manziel] will be the first one to tell you that he earned 'Johnny Football' as a college quarterback, and he knows he has to earn it as an NFL quarterback," Pettine told NFL AM on Thursday. "We're not going to let jersey sales determine our depth chart."
So far, Pettine is proving this to be correct by not even having Manziel second on the depth chart for OTAs, rather he has him third at the moment, behind Tyler Thigpen.
With all due respect to the veteran Thigpen, that won't be lasting much longer as practices progress, and we'll soon be down to that battle we're all waiting for between the kid out of Michigan State that gave the Browns a glimmer of hope in 2013 before he was shelved with an injury and the first-round draft pick that helped break NFL draft television records.
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