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Browns’ owner says Johnny Manziel is a backup


The starting quarterback job in Cleveland will not be handed to Johnny Manziel.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said today that the Browns coach Mike Pettine has told Johnny Manziel to start acting “like a backup quarterback.”

According to Haslam, Brian Hoyer is the team’s starting quarterback and will remain the starter until Manziel is able to prove that he’s the right man to lead the team. Manziel “is not the starter. Johnny’s the backup,” Haslam said.

That may be the case for now, but if recent history is any guide, Pettine will choose Manziel to be the starter when the season begins: The last five quarterbacks to be drafted in the first round have all been their teams’ Week One starters. While Manziel may technically be behind Hoyer on the depth chart now, the Browns wouldn’t have used a first-round pick on Manziel if they didn’t expect him to surpass Hoyer. Preferably sooner rather than later.

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102 Responses to “Browns’ owner says Johnny Manziel is a backup”
  1. joeflaccoallday says: May 12, 2014 8:17 PM

    Just look it at like this: Brian Hoyer or…. yeah Manziel is starting Week One.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: May 12, 2014 8:19 PM

    But do you hope that he’s the starter by Week 1 Jimmy? That’s what we are interested in knowing.

  3. ballerstatus2014 says: May 12, 2014 8:19 PM

    This could be a very good situation for the Browns. If Gordon’s suspended the whole year, they can start Hoyer and make him look bad, then next year have a reason to go to Manziel. Or maybe Hoyer does well, mentors Manziel, and the Browns finally have a QB. Can’t wait to see Manziel in preseason since he’ll likely sit on the bench to at least start the year.

  4. tccoats says: May 12, 2014 8:20 PM

    why is haslem commenting on lineup decisions…dude needs to shut his pie hole and let his coaches coach…

  5. thepftpoet says: May 12, 2014 8:20 PM

    Another reason Teddy Bridgewater should have been their draft pick.

    The Browns reportedly had his name on the card at #22 and then flipped it to Johny Manziel because a homeless man told them too.

    Teddy Bridgewater is easily the most NFL ready QB with a college high 71% completition percentage and is the most pocket aware & has great intangibles that you look for in someone who is going to be the face of your franchise.

    I honestly believe that homeless man was part of the Browns curse in the factory of sadness.

    Manziel + no Recievers will make him even look like more of a bust.

  6. noburghfan says: May 12, 2014 8:20 PM

    If Johnny is the starter , week 1 , Hoyer is the starter week 2 !!

  7. titusyoungslegalcounsel says: May 12, 2014 8:20 PM

    “The clipboard that Johhny held”

  8. somatg3 says: May 12, 2014 8:21 PM

    Why would an owner come out and say that? makes no sense. Wouldn’t you want whoever proves to be the best player to be the starter? This situation has disaster written all over it.

  9. bennyb82 says: May 12, 2014 8:22 PM

    Tough spot for Hoyer. If he doesn’t start the season off playing like he did last year before he got injured, then he might get pulled at halftime of game 1.

  10. silverandblack052099 says: May 12, 2014 8:24 PM

    But they always tell the backup to prepare as if he were the starter?

  11. freddypatsfan says: May 12, 2014 8:25 PM

    Good don’t rush him, that’s why a lot of QBs bust, forced into a situation they aren’t ready for, same goes for bridgewater and Bortles. There isn’t gonna be pro ready QBs like 2012 every year

  12. bcboncs says: May 12, 2014 8:25 PM

    As a Browns fan, I am glad to see this is what the position of our organization is. I honestly don’t think Manziel is going to pan out but I want him to more than anything obviously. I want the best man to win the QB starting role. This is a good problem to have and people don’t give Hoyer enough credit while giving an unproven, undersized rookie too much.

  13. ancientredmartian says: May 12, 2014 8:25 PM

    Johnny Benchwarmer

    Johnny Backup

    Johnny Clipboard

    Johnny Waterboy

    Johnny Sideline

    Johnny Second String

    Johnny Preseason

    I just wish I could make millions of dollars being a backup at my job.

  14. keltictim says: May 12, 2014 8:25 PM

    I truly don’t understand the rush to get these guys on the field week one. Especially now, with their team friendly contracts. Let them sit, learn, and in some cases (most def Johnny’s), mature. Why rush them into failure when a season or two of learning could make all the difference. Just ask Mr. Sixth round Tom Brady. Sitting for a year and some games worked out pretty darn well there.

  15. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: May 12, 2014 8:26 PM

    Hoyer is the real deal. Manziel should get used to hanging out on the sidelines wearing a ballcap.

  16. pascalswager42 says: May 12, 2014 8:26 PM

    Having two good quarterbacks is a great problem to have. Ask Trent Baalke.

    I would only hope such fortune would be placed upon the Browns.

    Time will tell

  17. that's the best linebacker i've seen since Joe Montana says: May 12, 2014 8:28 PM

    Take the wind right out of the sails…. sounds like something that Clevelands management would do.

  18. thegreatgabbert says: May 12, 2014 8:31 PM

    “Career backup!”.

  19. realitycheckbaby says: May 12, 2014 8:33 PM

    You always know a good organization when the owner is making player statements.


  20. freddsox says: May 12, 2014 8:34 PM

    Ok, drafted QB needs to know his role on the team, check. Too bad the owner can’t take his own advice.

  21. jacunn2000 says: May 12, 2014 8:35 PM

    Last place in the world any qb draft pick would want to go… Factory of sadness.

  22. raynman49 says: May 12, 2014 8:35 PM

    The Browns now have two good quarterbacks. Hoyer and Shaw!

  23. titusyoungslegalcounsel says: May 12, 2014 8:36 PM

    Johnny Mansideline

  24. classyjacklambert says: May 12, 2014 8:36 PM

    Connor Shaw could actually be the starter… This team really doesn’t have a QB

  25. jcphitman says: May 12, 2014 8:37 PM

    Vikings fan here. You would hope sitting Manziel would humble him so he can grow, learn, and be ready come his turn. Cleveland had their reasons for taking him and I hope he works out for the Browns like I hope Bridgewater works out for my Vikings. Like the Browns with Hoyer, I hope the Vikings start Cassel until Bridgewater proves he’s ready to go. Best of luck, Browns fans!

  26. pacodawg says: May 12, 2014 8:39 PM

    C town is relevant!

  27. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 12, 2014 8:41 PM

    And Jimmy Haslem, you are a clueless, horrible owner. You have no clue. Great mindset to instill in your 1st round draft pick.

  28. swaggyy says: May 12, 2014 8:42 PM

    Not surprising the Browns draft a back up in the first round

  29. campcouch says: May 12, 2014 8:44 PM

    Hey another Browns story. Not a single NFL Super Bowl, three trips to the AFC title game,more modern day losses than wins,yet evey third article is about them. Manziel has done his job without putting on a jersey. Heck,he even got noted Cowboys lover LeBron James to wear a Browns jersey. Of course he won’t be named the starter,that’s how you drum up interest. They’re doing right by actually developing him. Shannahan saw how Griffith regressed,even Luck slid back after his great rookie season. Let him sit until ready…everybody loves the backup and when it’s his time to go in,double those sales numbers!

  30. bmore44 says: May 12, 2014 8:46 PM

    Johnny Better off to sit year anyway.

  31. edelmanfanclub says: May 12, 2014 8:51 PM

    He shouldnt be the starter, he should earn it. Anyone saying Manziel will be the starter week one. Remember Anderson vs Frye vs Quinn in 08, Quinn was the first round pick. Frye won the job, and Anderson finished the season with a 10-6 record.

  32. Norseman says: May 12, 2014 8:52 PM

    We’ll have to wait until that homeless guy weighs in before we know if Manziel will start or not.

    I’m guessing he does.

  33. vikingsvoice says: May 12, 2014 8:58 PM

    Maybe Hoyer pulls a reverse Flynn!

  34. doe22us says: May 12, 2014 8:58 PM

    thegreatgabbert says:
    May 12, 2014 8:31 PM
    “Career backup!

    Are you describing your namesake??

  35. sellout1983 says: May 12, 2014 8:58 PM

    First round backup? Okay Browns..

  36. sportsfan18 says: May 12, 2014 8:58 PM

    If any Cleveland fans want to be even more depressed than they are…

    Simply Google the QB’s the Browns have used since the team came back to Cleveland…

    It’s even MORE depressing than being a Cleveland fan, so it will PICK your spirits UP…

    Until you realize you’re reading the list of QB’s that have played for your team JUST since 1999.

    Geez, the Colts had Peyton and only Peyton from 1998 on…

  37. myworldurjuslivinit says: May 12, 2014 9:00 PM

    …pants on fire. jus sayin.

  38. teal379 says: May 12, 2014 9:02 PM

    In other words, Jimmy’s already tired of Johnny’s act around the complex and already felt it necessary to take him down a peg or two.

    Congrats, – it’s been 3 days since you drafted him until he basically was the person everyone saw him to be. Patriots’ report was pretty accurate….

  39. giantsfan2104 says: May 12, 2014 9:03 PM

    Johnny Bench?

  40. sportsfan18 says: May 12, 2014 9:06 PM

    OK, I’m such a nice guy, I’m going to list the 20 (TWENTY QB’s Cleveland has used since 1999)…

    In no particular order by the way…

    1 Ken Dorsey
    2 Bruce Gradowski
    3 Spergon Wynn
    4 Luke McCown
    5 Doug Pederson
    6 Ty Detmer
    7 Jake Delhomme
    8 Brandon Weeden
    9 Brady Quinn
    10 Charlie Frye
    11 Jeff Garcia
    12 Seneca Wallace
    13 Jason Campbell
    14 Thaddeus Lewis
    15 Colt McCoy
    16 Trent Dilfer
    17 Brian Hoyer
    18 Derek Anderson
    19 Kelly Holcomb
    20 Tim Couch

    All those QB’s have started at least one game since the franchise began again in Cleveland in 1999.

    Peyton played from 1998 to 2010 for the Colts…

    And STARTED EVERY game during those seasons for the Colts…

  41. luz56 says: May 12, 2014 9:08 PM

    Love it when owners need the spotlight because they need to show others they are still the boss…Cleveland had a good draft … 8-8 maybe?? Haslam shut your cake hole

  42. citizenstrange says: May 12, 2014 9:08 PM

    Doesn’t Haslam have a scam he should be scamming somewhere?

  43. filthymcnastyi says: May 12, 2014 9:09 PM

    Cant wait til this clown does the way of Tebow!

  44. filthymcnastyi says: May 12, 2014 9:10 PM


  45. 1harrypairatesties says: May 12, 2014 9:15 PM

    “Hello yes, Did I reach the Dog Pound Ticket Office? Ok good, Can you tell me how I go about returning these season tickets I purchased on Friday?”

  46. crownofthehelmet says: May 12, 2014 9:17 PM

    If he starts wk 1 against the steelers, LeBeau will ruin his confidence for good.

  47. joeywoge says: May 12, 2014 9:18 PM

    This guy is a playmaker! He is definitely going to start! Oh wait! No, let’s start the guy that’s coming off season ending ACL surgery! Please! Stop the nonsense!!!

  48. agold831 says: May 12, 2014 9:19 PM

    sellout1983 says:
    May 12, 2014 8:58 PM
    First round backup? Okay Browns..


    Ever hear of Aaron Rodgers? Picked with the same exact pick #22 overall. He didn’t sit did he? Oh wait…

  49. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain says: May 12, 2014 9:19 PM

    Tebow 2.0

  50. agold831 says: May 12, 2014 9:21 PM

    Sorry, Aaron Rodgers was #24 overall but the same point still holds

  51. jkirby317 says: May 12, 2014 9:21 PM

    Why would he need to say this today? To not hurt the psyche of Brian Hoyer? Who cares about Brian Hoyer?
    They drafted Johnny Foosball to play.

  52. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 12, 2014 9:22 PM

    To the 2,000 new season ticket holders arent you glad Scammin Jimmy Haslem told you Josh Gordon was out for the year before you bought them? O he waited til 5 pm to announce it. Lets see scamming truckers now hes scamming his own fans.

    You are a scumbag Haslem!

  53. rg3sus says: May 12, 2014 9:23 PM

    This is Brady Quinn / D Anderson all over. If you start Hoyer you better hope he isn’t too good otherwise you can’t start Manziel, the fan favorite. This is a very tricky situation to manage properly.

  54. bnwpnw says: May 12, 2014 9:24 PM

    BACKUP? What’s the rebate policy?

  55. gary2525 says: May 12, 2014 9:28 PM

    Please DO NOT start to be jerry jones

  56. raidersownyou says: May 12, 2014 9:32 PM

    Factory of Sadness at its finest.

  57. ErinAndrewsStopCallingMe says: May 12, 2014 9:38 PM

    Nothing like being told how to behave from a soon-to-be felon.

  58. jimbrowncanstillkickyourass says: May 12, 2014 9:43 PM

    Hey @sportsfan18 – here’s another recent NFL history lesson for you. The Browns lost a playoff game in 2002, in the only one since they came back. Which means that Browns QB has a losing playoff record, just like Peyton

  59. ravenswhat says: May 12, 2014 9:44 PM

    The browns brass really do protest too much.

    They didn’t trade up to take johnny in the 1st and have him hold a clipboard. He’s either starting, or as soon as Hoyer plays bad he’s starting. No doubt at all.

  60. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 12, 2014 9:46 PM

    You are the one that picked him Haslem. How are you of all people going to tell someone how to act, when you are a lieing scumbag?

  61. urbusted2 says: May 12, 2014 9:46 PM

    Quinn wasn’t the starter when drafted at the 22nd spot. Hoyer has the job to lose. Remember, Manziel wasn’t taken with their 1st pick. He may win the job, but he’ll have to earn it.

  62. ytownie says: May 12, 2014 9:50 PM

    I’m just LOL at all the Viking fans ranking on Manziel when Minnesota tried like crazy to trade up to 22 to grab him. What would you guys be saying if they would have successful? ” Johnny the greatest since Fran!!!”

  63. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 12, 2014 9:58 PM

    Dear Jimmy, Ray, and Baldy:

    Please trade me.



  64. ivanpavlov0000 says: May 12, 2014 10:02 PM

    This is turning into a replay of the Tebow circus. I expect similar long term results.

  65. muencht says: May 12, 2014 10:04 PM

    Johnny Manziel will never be happy in a backup role. He will sulk until he gets his way. He will be competing for the starting qb slot by week 6.

  66. steelerprime says: May 12, 2014 10:09 PM

    This idiot is starting to remind me of jurrah Jones and that drug addict Irsey.

    Shut your mouth and let the football guys make the decisions.

  67. greymares says: May 12, 2014 10:13 PM

    He won’t be a backup long. He’ll be out of the league faster than Tebow.

  68. dadsource says: May 12, 2014 10:19 PM

    Good God, another potentially great NFL QB goes to die in Cleveland. I don’t think Tim Couch, Brandon Weedon, or any QB in Browns history can be to blame. They may have been HOFers if drafted elsewhere! Can’t that owner just be forced to sell the team? Maybe he’s a racist! Smh

  69. thetooloftools says: May 12, 2014 10:29 PM

    STOP.. we answer to nobody.
    What are you thinking?

  70. rosstuckershair says: May 12, 2014 10:34 PM

    If Hoyer isn’t hurt last year, the Browns make the playoffs. Take a seat Johnny…

  71. thefirstsmilergrogan says: May 12, 2014 10:35 PM

    this gomer must be angling to top jerry jones for the “owners saying stupid stuff” award..

    which from now on is to be called the ‘Sterling’….

  72. cnote94 says: May 12, 2014 10:35 PM

    The heir apparent to Jerry Jones. Just because you were a minority owner of the Steelers doesn’t make you a Rooney.

  73. deinoslogos says: May 12, 2014 10:54 PM

    Manziel is gonna bust anyway. Might as well as get him in there ASAP so that the team can learn that the curse of Pick #22 has struck again and move on.

  74. miamimike1 says: May 12, 2014 10:55 PM

    Browns owner states this psychological he takes the heat off his coach and his rookie quarterback. Now there is no pressure since he is making this statement. When the time is right they will start the rookie. He is deflecting the fan and media rants to play Manziel. I do not see anything wrong with this. It keeps Manziel from saying anything stupid hopefully and the coach can defer questions to the owner if needed. Bottom line when it’s all said and done he will play this year as the starter. Then a few weeks later he will be on I.R So there is no rush.

  75. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 12, 2014 11:04 PM

    Come on man that’s like telling Elvis to act like a back up singer.

  76. jpcrunk says: May 12, 2014 11:13 PM

    Johnny will increase the value of the franchise . Dude is like Midas everything he touches turns to gold do the research Texas am donations increased dramatically under this guy he will fob the same for the browns already leading in jersey sales. This guy is a human gold mine. Plus he can ball!! Brian who?
    C’mon man

  77. Dogsweat says: May 12, 2014 11:22 PM

    Johnny football should of pulled John Elway.

    Michael Sam will have long and tremendous career, and JM will be out in 2 years.

  78. swagger52 says: May 12, 2014 11:24 PM

    Baltimore truly hopes that Manziel gets the start.

    Baltimore wants to bust the Manziel balloon giving Cleveland one more reason to hate Baltimore.

  79. bullcharger says: May 12, 2014 11:25 PM

    Class move, but Manziel so better than Hoyer. He’ll start soon enough.

  80. drs76109 says: May 12, 2014 11:26 PM

    Oh, Jimmy….

  81. prussian11 says: May 12, 2014 11:28 PM

    “Johnny Clipboard”

  82. theytukrjobs says: May 12, 2014 11:35 PM

    After starting 1st round QB’s before they were ready 5 consecutive times, this declaration has little meaning. Manziel is starter day 1 barring him looking God awful during training camp and preseason.

  83. 737driver69 says: May 12, 2014 11:54 PM

    Yeah “Haslam” and try to convince other quarterbacks in your roster.

  84. blackcatnfl says: May 13, 2014 12:06 AM

    I think preparing to be the backup means stay up late, party, and don’t hit the film room too hard right?

  85. qdog112 says: May 13, 2014 12:23 AM

    “… start acting “like a backup quarterback.” I’m no Runziel cheerleader, but what does that even mean?

    Haslem is a piece of work and I know the coach and GM (not to mention the players) wish he would just shut up. Yeah, it’s his team and he has the right, but because you can, doesn’t mean you do.

  86. bobzilla1001 says: May 13, 2014 12:40 AM

    I don’t care if the Browns have used 100 QBs since 1999. The organization’s problem has been no stability at the top: the head coach. When Butch Davis is your most successful coach over a 15-season span, you know you have front-office issues. Eric Mangini should have never been fired.

  87. browns4ever says: May 13, 2014 1:07 AM

    Yes & Haslem NEVER opened his mouth about drafting JM either……

  88. 4512dawg4512 says: May 13, 2014 1:38 AM

    Hang on, wait. So you’re trying to tell me that the most popular guy in Cleveland is the back up QB? No…..

  89. 49erstim says: May 13, 2014 4:02 AM

    In a marriage between the Browns and Manziel does he take their name (Johnny Sadness) or do they take his (Factory of Drunken Draft Busts)? Oh… I mean… I’m sure Johnny Back-up will do fine….. right?

  90. 49erstim says: May 13, 2014 4:05 AM

    Hoyer starts week one unless Haslem interferes or he is hurt. Let Johnny Sadness sit and watch.

  91. iamdinguskhan says: May 13, 2014 4:26 AM

    As a Skins fan I saw what the AFC north does to rookie QBs. Steelers and Bengals pounded RGIII and Ravens hurt him. Manziel who is smaller,not as athletic, dumber will go against these teams 6 times a year?
    Johnny Football=Johnny ER

  92. robkiss1234567890 says: May 13, 2014 4:37 AM

    In those 6 instances of round 1 qbs being drafted and being week one starters..I am quite sure they didn’t have a qb nearly as talented as hoyer on the roster. Shoutout to St.Ignatius btw. Go Wildcats!

  93. 75rockrasin says: May 13, 2014 6:52 AM

    Hoyer is the starter until fans, who bought up season tickets and re-designed Tim Couch #2 jersey’s, scream for thier #22 draft pick becomes the starter.

    Then Johnny football becomes Johnny Quinn.

    Fans burn those #2 jersey’s and start selling off those tickets, again.

  94. lawyermalloy says: May 13, 2014 7:32 AM

    The continued ineptness of the Browns will come shining through as soon as “Johnny Injured” leaves the pocket for the first time and gets hit by a bigger, faster, stronger DE.
    Unless they keep him on the sidelines he’ll be forever known as “Johnny Bust”!

  95. ghent32 says: May 13, 2014 7:39 AM

    This will not be a popular comment, but I watched Hoyer play last year before he got hurt and that guy played relatively well, enough to see what he has this year.

    And no, I’m not a Browns fan.

    I think Manizel has the tools to win, but I’m not sure he has the work ethic. He kind of had everything handed to him, so we’ll see. Jerry Rice and other super greats like that had non-stop work ethic and discipline.

  96. flexx91 says: May 13, 2014 8:07 AM

    No, an owner who makes comments about who the starting QB is or will be instead of the head coach is one indication of a dysfunctional franchise. That typically doesn’t happen with the more successful franchises (Patriots, 49’ers, Seahawks, Saints, Packers, etc.). The unsuccessful ones (Cowboys, Browns, Redskins)…..

  97. leatherface2012 says: May 13, 2014 8:28 AM


  98. NoobTubeTV says: May 13, 2014 8:41 AM

    Doesn’t make it sound like he wasn’t involved in the decision. Why is he talking about personnel decisions? I was under the impression that the coach made those calls.


  99. billsfan1 says: May 13, 2014 9:18 AM

    Cleveland has probably the one team that has had a crappier 15 year run than the Bills. Maybe they should start whomever is the best qb, even if that means Manziel never gets the chance to win the job cause Hoyer does so well. Like the Bills, they can’t be too picky..

  100. sandersmarcus10 says: May 13, 2014 11:43 AM

    Who cares who the starter is, theres nobody to throw too if Gordon is suspended and they didnt address that in the draft. Johnny football is doing what he was drafted to do – SELL TICKETS AND JERSEYS!

  101. rcali says: May 13, 2014 12:39 PM

    A kid who comes from oil money and is all about Hollywood gets drafted by a team/city that their own owner has stated is the exact opposite. You just have to wonder if anybody in that Browns front office is paying attention to the big picture.

  102. macneil4025 says: May 13, 2014 1:36 PM

    Did Haslam buy the homeless guy some season tickets for Johnny Footballs 1st year running for his life?

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