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Browns' Pettine: Johnny Manziel could win starting job

With Brian Hoyer getting the start Monday night for the Cleveland Browns, coach Mike Pettine attempted to clarify how the veteran and rookie Johnny Manziel would share reps against the Washington Redskins

NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Hoyer and Manziel would alternate every two series with the first-team offense, according to an informed source. Pettine wouldn't confirm the series-swapping, but said the goal was to get a balance.

"It's hard to say," he said Friday. "I know a report came out about how we're going to use them series-wise. To me, it's more we want to make sure that we get the reps balanced, and I think it's hard to go every other series. ... The goal is -- as I've stated -- at the end of the half that we want to have the reps close to equal."

One reason for the quarterbacks shuffling series early on would be to ensure Manziel got reps against the Redskins' first-team defense.

Despite Hoyer getting the first two preseason starts, Pettine said that doesn't diminish Johnny Football's chances of winning the starting gig.

"All of our options are still on the table," he said. "I think a lot people read into what happened. Every option for us is still on the table ... We keep preaching to our guys: 'Do your job, good things will happen.'"

According to NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Manziel worked first with the first team Friday in 9-on-9s, 11-on-11s and looked better than he has going through his progressions.

Receiver Anthony Armstrong told Kinkhabwala that on one ball he caught, he knows he was the third option on the play. During OTAs and even the start of camp, Manziel was a little lost if his first read wasn't open. His mechanics would get sloppy or he'd just try and run. The progression shows growth from the rookie.

Pettine confirmed he'd like to make a decision on the opening day starter by Tuesday.

"Yeah, that should be the target date," he said. "Something unforeseen could come up, but we're hopeful. I do want to see if I can cut the quarterback questions down by about 90 percent after next week. And the chemistry, the continuity -- I think that's important to establish that."

The latest "Around the League Podcast" talks quarterback battles and debates the gang's preseason power rankings.

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