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Mike Pettine leaves door open for Johnny Manziel to be starter

BEREA, Ohio -- Johnny Manziel begins training camp as the Cleveland Browns' backup, but coach Mike Pettine said Manziel can still win the starting quarterback job based on performance.

Pettine added that it's still likely that Josh McCown will be the Browns' Week 1 starter against the New York Jets on Sept. 13.

"I don't think anything's changed," Pettine said as he discussed the team three days before training camp opens. "The repetitions will be handled that way with Josh as the 1. I wouldn't say I'm guaranteeing today that Josh McCown is going to be the starter against the Jets. A lot can happen in preseason."

Pettine said, though, that there is clear separation between McCown and Manziel because of McCown's 12 years in the league.

"From an experience standpoint, he [McCown] is that much further ahead," Pettine said.

Pettine emphasized that his approach with McCown and Manziel is the same as with players at other positions. There is a designated starter heading into camp, but competition can change that order.

Pettine said it was tough to say whether Manziel made enough strides in the offseason to be the starter because he's learning a new system and football in the spring is different than the fall.

"I would say he did a heck of a lot more good things in the spring than he did bad things," Pettine said.

He also shrugged at the fact that Manziel was not active on social media during the past six weeks, the team's time off.

"I did not spend one day of my vacation, it never popped into my head, 'Gee, I wonder where Johnny is or what he's doing,'" Pettine said, adding the team would not hover over any player because it expects them to act professionally.

Pettine also praised Manziel for taking the initiative to spend a couple of days with ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden in Tampa.

"This was vacation time for a lot of guys, so the fact that he sought out Jon and went down there and worked with him and was thinking about football, to me I see that as nothing but a positive," Pettine said.

As for Terrelle Pryor, Pettine said he wants the former Ohio State quarterback to concentrate "1,000 percent" on wide receiver as camp opens.

Pryor will be attempting to change positions after being under center during college and his previous three NFL seasons. Pettine acknowledged Pryor could fill a slash/multiposition role if he makes the team, but said it's way too early to think about those options.

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse with him," Pettine said. "He's got to make the roster."

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