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Mike Pettine open to starting Johnny Manziel

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Is it Johnny Football time for the Cleveland Browns?

After watching quarterback Brian Hoyer throw his second interception in an eventual 26-10 loss to the Bills on Sunday, Browns coach Mike Pettine benched the veteran minutes into the fourth quarter in favor of rookie Johnny Manziel.

Manziel immediately led Cleveland on an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown march to cut Buffalo's lead to 20-10. The rookie made plays with his feet and looked good outside the pocket before splitting the defense for a 10-yard scoring gallop -- the first touchdown of his brief NFL career. Manziel finished the game 5-of-8 passing for 63 yards with another 13 yards on the ground.

He couldn't trigger the comeback, but it's fair to wonder if the starting job is now Manziel's to lose.

Pettine told reporters that the coaching staff will "look at the tape and make a decision," but his comments to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio certainly hinted at a switch, saying that "the door is definitely open for a change at the quarterback position."

"It's not like we're just going to go back to Brian," Pettine said. "This has been a cumulative thing where discussions about a change at quarterback have been more and more lively. We'll evaluate both quarterbacks and have a decision soon."

Hoyer told scribes after the loss that he was shocked by the benching, but he still labeled the Browns "my team," calling himself "without a doubt" the guy to lead Cleveland on a playoff run.

Not if he's sitting on the bench.

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