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Dick LeBeau expects Johnny Manziel to start in Week 1

Johnny Manziel finally mixed in with the first-team offense on Monday. That's exactly where the Cleveland Browns' Week 1 opponent expects the rookie to stay.

"I'm expecting Manziel to be the starter," Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told Cleveland.com on Monday. "That's what I'm expecting. What he did in college is not an accident. He did it often enough against good teams.

"I think he is going to be a handful for all of us. You watch all his games and he created plays, he made plays, he kept plays alive. He has the ability to see people and the touch with the football to get it in there late in the down. I think he will be successful at this level."

LeBeau isn't alone. Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted Monday that he has yet to speak with a Steelers player who believes Manziel will not be under center in the season opener.

That sentiment is picking up steam in Cleveland as well.

Stationed at Browns camp, NFL Media analyst Deion Sanders gave Manziel the edge in the competition due to his ability to make plays outside of the pocket, which becomes a necessity if Josh Gordon misses a significant portion of the season under suspension.

"Johnny's gonna earn it," Sanders said of the starting quarterback job.

This battle is just heating up. As general manager Ray Farmer said last week, it will be decided in preseason games.

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