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Kyle Shanahan: Neither Manziel nor Hoyer is ahead

We made the argument on this week's Around The League Podcast that the quarterback battle in Cleveland has barely begun.

Mike Pettine backed our theory on Thursday, calling it a "knee-jerk reaction" to assume that Brian Hoyer has won the job after taking all the first-team reps to date.

The coach promised that rookie Johnny Manziel would also work with the starters as part of a competition that still has a "long way to go," per Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that neither quarterback is ahead of the other, saying, "I hope they make it easy for us.

"Johnny's continued to progress," said Shanahan, who noted that it's "going to take time" for the team to choose between a first-year arm and a veteran with just four career starts.

Pettine strongly hinted last week that Johnny Football would find his way onto the field just as a younger Colin Kaepernick did with the 49ers before hopscotching Alex Smith.

Shanahan confirmed as much on Thursday, telling reporters that even if Hoyer opens against the Steelers in Week 1, the Browns would have a Manziel subpackage ready to roll "right away."

With a full helping of preseason games and plenty of practice time left, this one's far from over.

The latest Around The League Podcast talks about the good and bad out of Cowboys camp, then plays the "What's More Likely?" game.

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