"Johnny Football" Manziel has a month to win Browns QB job

Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:05pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Johnny Manziel has found instant popularity since being drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Browns, but will have to wait until August to find out if he has the starting quarterback job.

The charismatic Manziel, whose No. 2 jersey has become the National Football League's top seller, is in competition with journeyman Brian Hoyer for the critical assignment.

Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters at team headquarters on Monday that a starting quarterback would be named by the third week of the preseason if not before.

Pettine said he would meet on Tuesday with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to decide how to split first-team reps in training camp between former Texas A&M star Manziel and Hoyer.

Hoyer, who has started four games in his NFL career since being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Patriots in 2009, went 3-0 as a starter for Cleveland last season.

"(A decision) could be sooner, and that's something we're going to discuss in that meeting," Pettine said, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

"I just don't have a date. I don't know if I'll set a date and kind of paint ourselves into a date, but it will be sooner than the third preseason game."

The Browns play their third preseason game on Aug. 23 against the St. Louis Rams.

The NFL announced on Monday that more Manziel Browns jerseys were sold on NFLShop.com during the first fiscal quarter of the year than any other player jersey.   Continued...

Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) gestures on stage after being selected as the number twenty-two overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns at Radio City Music Hall. May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA;Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports