Browns safety Donte Whitner recently made some news by admitting to the existence of a 50-50 split in the locker room regarding Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel at quarterback.
That was news to Manziel.
“I don’t feel any rift like that or anything going on in the locker room,” Manziel told reporters on Monday. “As far as my end, I think they see two guys coming out playing football and competing as well as everybody else out on the field competing. Quarterback is obviously just the position that gets a lot of flash and gets a lot of attention, but at the same time there are guys battling all around. I don’t really know if there’s an exact split like that. It’s not something I’m really aware of right now. I know two guys are going out and competing, trying to move the ball down the field for this offense.”
Browns coach Mike Pettine plans to name a starter before the third preseason game. He has yet to pick a starter for the second preseason game, coming next Monday night against Washington. Asked whether Manziel hopes to start that game, he displayed verbal elusiveness that matches his on-field moves.
“I hope to do whatever the coaches tell me to do,” Manziel said. “That’s what I’m going to do, whatever they say, whether it’s No. 1’s, No. 2’s, whatever it is. I’m going to do what Coach Pettine and Coach Shanahan have in store for me.”
Presumably, Manziel and the rest of us will know what that is within the next seven days. Not long after that, we’ll also know whether it will be Hoyer or Manziel taking the field on September 7 at Heinz Field against the Steelers.