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Johnny Manziel takes third-team reps at Browns' OTAs

The Browns weren't kidding around about shoving Johnny Manzieldown the depth chart.

NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported Wednesday that Cleveland launched its offseason workout activities with veteran quarterback Brian Hoyertaking first-team snaps. He was followed -- to our surprise -- by journeyman Tyler Thigpen at the No. 2 spot before Johnny Football brought up the caboose with a collection of third-stringers.

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While threatening to melt the Internet, the team's under-center pecking order means next to nothing here in late May. In fact, Thigpen makes some sense at No. 2, considering his experience in the pistol, which we expect offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to lean on heavily this season.

The Browns, to the dismay of many, have preached competition from the minute they made Manziel the No. 22 overall pick in this month's draft.

New coach Mike Pettine isn't in the mood to designate a rookie as his starting quarterback without first seeing him on the field.

Nice plan, in theory, but the city's building mania for Manziel is bound to make a mockery of any scenario starring someone other than Johnny Football under center against the Steelers come Week 1.

Here's what else we learned from Wednesday's OTAs in C-Town:

  1. After leading 7-on-7s, Hoyer initially sat through what Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer called a "spirited" round of 11-on-11s. Coming off knee surgery, Hoyer watched -- as Thigpen took first-team reps, followed again by Manziel -- before marching back out for "dialed back" snaps with the full offense.
  1. Kinkhabwala noted that "Manziel throws with some serious zip." He "can't match" Hoyer's accuracy and didn't show the same level of "understanding of WR routes," but as Aditi pointed out: it's May 21.
  1. Also from Kinkhabwala: Josh Gordon, as expected, participated in the session and caught "EVERYTHING." The pass-catcher's potential lengthy suspension casts a gloom over Cleveland's otherwise action-packed offseason.
  1. We were surprised to hear that pass rusher Paul Krugerplayed with the backups during 11-on-11s, per Cabot. The outside linebacker later rejoined the starters, with Jabaal Sheard dipping down to the second wave. Cleveland's coaching staff isn't playing favorites.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" plays the post-draft version of the game "What's More Likely" and breaks down all the latest news.

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