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Mike Pettine: Browns will name starting QB by Aug. 23

The Cleveland Browns don't yet know who their starting quarterback will be in Week 1. What they do know is the timetable for when they'd like to make that decision.

Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters at team headquarters on Monday that a starting QB will be named by the third week of the preseason -- and perhaps before that. Pettine said he will meet Tuesday with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to decide how to split first-team reps in training camp between Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer.

"(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. "It'll be before the third preseason game. 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 will play their third preseason game on Aug. 23 against the St. Louis Rams. Their tentative schedule seems to suggest they have a preferred plan in mind -- and one that might not favor Manziel.

Pettine also explained where the Browns stand on wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was facing a potential lengthy suspension before he was arrested on DWI charges earlier this month. Gordon's struggles have led to media speculation that Cleveland could cut ties with the troubled All-Pro. Pettine made it clear that's not in the team's plans.

"No, we're firm. We want to find that middle ground," he said. "Josh is a Cleveland Brown. We want to do what's best for him. We have a player that potentially needs help. Whether it's him or whether it's anybody else that wears the uniform, if we can help, we'll help.

"We want to make our decisions always, what's best for the player, and you try to marry it with what's best for the team. So that's why I don't think that cutting him, while it may have worked for some other people, I don't know if that's the necessarily the best option here. It might be the worst option for both -- for us and for him. We're going to wait and see what happens and then act accordingly."

Gordon's suspension-appeal hearing is expected to take place later this month. Pettine said the team expects a resolution to the situation in 10-to-14 days. The coach said he has no idea how long Gordon could be banned.

"We've planned for everything, and we're ready to go," he said. "I don't want that to be a huge dark cloud hanging over everything and we've hung our hopes on it. Typical coach mentality: Expect the worst, hope for the best."

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