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Pettine: Browns haven't moved on from Manziel

The Cleveland Browns aren't leaving Johnny Manziel in the dust.

At least not according to coach Mike Pettine, who took exception on Tuesday to a report from ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi, who stated that the Browns are, "by all appearances, moving on" from the second-year passer.

"It doesn't thrill me," Pettine said, per NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala. "I don't pay much attention to what's going on outside of the building, but when it potentially can drive a spike between the staff and the team, I have issues with it. To me, to talk about how a team's potentially moved on from a player, or he's not in plans, that's just irresponsible."

Grossi wrote Friday that Manziel was a "fish out of water" in a conservative Browns attack that plans to prioritize the run while asking veteran Josh McCown to safely manage games.

Grossi watched Manziel practice last week and wrote that the former first-rounder was "unchanged from his rookie year." A source told Grossi that Manziel was "worse" the second day of OTAs.

Pettine on Tuesday dismissed concerns over the offense moving away from Manziel's improvisational gifts, saying that new play-caller John DeFilippo "will tailor a game plan" to match what his quarterback does best.

"I'm the last guy -- the last guy -- that's going to take Johnny Manziel's athleticism away from him," DeFilippo said in May, per The News-Herald. "Johnny's game is just a little unorthodox. He likes to escape the pocket. He does a lot of impromptu stuff. The thing Johnny is doing right now is he is improving his game of being an NFL quarterback. He's making great strides in doing that."

At the time, DeFilippo cited Manziel's top challenge as calling out appropriate pass protections at the line, another reminder that Cleveland is still working to mold the former Texas A&M star into a functional pro.

It's worth noting that DeFilippo was with the Raiders when Oakland rewrote the playbook to make the most of Terrelle Pryor's athleticism, liberally using pistol concepts to unleash the mobile passer for 576 yards rushing in 2013.

Pryor has since struggled to resemble an NFL quarterback. Manziel is under pressure to carve out a better fate, but until he can master basic elements under center, Johnny is little threat to see meaningful playing time.

"We all feel good about where (Manziel) is," Pettine said. "You could see, he shows some frustration out there because he wants it to be perfect, he wants it to be done right, he wants to do it the way that we're coaching him to do it. He's probably been the hardest guy on himself."

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