Mike Mayock: Let Johnny Manziel work for something


The Cleveland Browns have been scoffed at for their heavy-handed insistence that Johnny Manziel is -- for now, at least -- nothing more than a backup quarterback.

Meritocracy, after all, rarely applies to first-round signal-callers anymore, but NFL Media's Mike Mayock agrees with the approach.

"I love the way they are handling him right now," Mayock told Tom Reed of The Plain Dealer over the weekend. "I'm happy they didn't hand it to him. The kid has had too much handed to him in life already. Let him work for something here."

By all accounts, the Browns are doing just that.

Refusing to purchase a ticket for the Brian Hoyer Hype Train, however, we fully expect Manziel to begin the season as Cleveland's starter. That has less to do with his Q Rating and more to do with the offense coordinator Kyle Shanahan is implementing.

Cleveland's recent rash of offseason practices left one Plain Dealer scribe to say of a playbook overtly designed for a mobile passer: "It's for Johnny Manziel."

As NFL Media's Bucky Brooks noted on the latest Around The League Podcast, Steelers coordinator Dick LeBeau has made a career of feasting on rookie passers. Manziel, though, will need to fall flat on his face before September to find himself on the bench when the Browns roll into Pittsburgh in Week 1.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" picks the best receiver group in the NFL, and goes deep previewing the season with Bucky Brooks.