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Pettine: McCown favorite to start for Browns Week 1

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It's Josh McCown's job to lose in Cleveland.

Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters on Friday that the veteran quarterback will serve as the team's No. 1 passer throughout offseason workouts, minicamp and likely into training camp, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. That's not all:

It comes as little surprise after Pettine hinted Tuesday that McCown was in pole position to earn the job after Johnny Manziel's 10-week stay in a rehab facility.

The Browns lured McCown off the open market to give Cleveland a safe if unspectacular option under center, a veteran with the respect of his teammates and the requisite experience to guide an offense.

The Browns continue to support Manziel, but he can't be seen as more than a wild-card at the position just one year after being drafted with the 22nd overall pick.

Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer have spoken honestly about the lack of a top-tier franchise quarterback, using the offseason to build up both lines and fill holes around the most important position in sports.

Teams without a bona fide signal-caller rarely survive the rigors of an NFL season, but this duel is far from over. Manziel has drawn rave reviews inside the building since his return. If he can translate that to the field, Johnny Football has the chance to emerge as more than a shaky footnote by the shores of Lake Erie.

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