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Cleveland Browns hiring Kevin O'Connell as QB coach

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The Cleveland Browns will make a hire that might bode well for Johnny Manziel's future along the shores of Lake Erie.

The team is signing Kevin O'Connell as their quarterbacks coach, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, according to team sources. The Browns will also add former University of Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper as a senior offensive assistant, per Rapoport. FOX Sports first reported the hires. 

O'Connell worked with Manziel prior to the draft last year. He will join new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo's staff, which has several decisions to make at the quarterback position.

The 29-year-old O'Connell -- a former third-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2008 -- also has ties to free-agent-to-be Brian Hoyer, who beat O'Connell out for the backup job to Tom Brady in 2009. O'Connell knows coach Mike Pettine and DeFillipo from his time on the Jets.

Last summer the former quarterback explained to a CBS Sports podcast what he told teams who inquired about Manziel prior to the draft.

"What I did say was 'Johnny Manziel is able to do things on a football field that very few people can do, whether they're mentally ahead of other players at the position or not,' " O'Connell said, per The Plain Dealer. "... If he can find a way to match that with his football knowledge and growing as a veteran in the NFL -- and it's going to take him some time -- but if he can find a way to do it, the sky is the limit."

Now O'Connell will go from a pre-draft workout instructor to one of the men tangibly responsible for making sure Manziel is able to reach those heights.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews Super Bowl XLIX and gives our picks for the big game. Watch the entire show (and Wess eat his softball pants) on NFL NOW.

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