Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says Johnny Manziel is a backup quarterback right now

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner

The things coming out of Cleveland nowadays are more entertaining than usual.

A priest said a special prayer for rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel in front of 500 Browns fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s luncheon on Monday. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam continued the comedy when he insisted Manziel would be a backup until he beat Brian Hoyer for the job.

"Mike Pettine said it very well ‘Johnny, right now you’re our backup quarterback and you need to act like such,'" Haslam told "We were very frank with him on Friday that that’s the expectation. ‘You’re the backup quarterback. This is a hard-working, blue-collar town. This isn’t Hollywood. We want you to come in here, work hard and work as hard as anybody on the team. He’s not the starter. Brian Hoyer is our starting quarterback. Johnny is the backup. They’ll compete. If Johnny wins the job, fine. If not, Brian will be the quarterback. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it’s been expressed to him. I think you’ll see Johnny perform that way. Johnny wants to win games."

We all understand Haslam wants Manziel to work hard, but beating out the “Great Brian Hoyer” is not like overthrowing Peyton Manning. 

Sure, Hoyer played well in three games before sustaining a season-ending ACL injury, but Cleveland did not use a first-round pick on Manziel to have him "learn" under Hoyer. If the Browns believed in Hoyer, they wouldn't have drafted Manziel. It is hard to believe Manziel and Hoyer do not know that.

Pettine and Haslam are saying the right things when it comes to Manziel, but it is hard not to find their public opinion slightly amusing.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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