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Paul Kruger: Brian Hoyer is the guy in Browns' QB race

Brian Hoyer will enter training camp with a lead over Johnny Manziel in the Cleveland Browns' quarterback competition. A hardly "insurmountable" lead, of course.

One unclear aspect of this camp battle is how Browns players feel about the situation. We got some perspective Monday from defensive end Paul Kruger, who was asked if Hoyer deserved to keep the starting job.

"In my mind, Hoyer's the guy," Kruger told KFAN-AM in Salt Lake City, Utah. "Hoyer came in, won us four games, unfortunately got hurt. The guy was on fire when he was healthy and he's proven himself at a different level and has worked extremely hard."

In the name of accuracy, we'll mention that Hoyer started just three games last season, and suffered a torn ACL early in the team's Week 5 win over the Buffalo Bills. That said, Hoyer provided a spark that his predecessor, Brandon Weeden, never could. That surely carries weight with Kruger and other Browns players.

"You let the preseason go, see how they look and then make a decision," he added. "In my mind, Hoyer has been a good leader for us and somebody who has been able to win us a few games. It's tough to say but I think the preseason will be a big deal for both of them."

Media coverage has greatly intensified since Cleveland selected Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft. Kruger was asked if he's suffering from Johnny Fatigue.

"I'm a little tired of hearing about him," he replied with a chuckle. "It hasn't been a distraction, it really hasn't. It brings some excitement."

Will any other Browns players come out in support of Hoyer over the summer? Another intriguing subplot to watch in the suddenly fertile drama grounds of Berea, Ohio.

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