Football / Sports

Browns' Mike Pettine favors ultra-competitive battle between Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer

At a Positive Coaching Alliance breakfast Monday morning at FirstEnergy Stadium, Browns coach Mike Pettine said he didn't expect incumbent starting quarterback Brian Hoyer and recently drafted rookie Johnny Manziel to be "sending each other Christmas cards anytime soon."

While that comment may have sounded tinged with animosity, Pettine said it was instead laced with competitiveness.

"That's what I meant," Pettine said Monday night at the 35th annual Akron Browns Backers banquet at Tangier restaurant. "Nobody's going across the table yet in a quarterback meeting. They're ultra-competitors. We don't want guys who are going to be warm and fuzzy. They're fighting for a job.

"That to me is how you want your quarterback to be. The Peyton Mannings and the Tom Bradys probably aren't the warmest and the nicest to the guys who are coming in trying to take their jobs."

Hoyer had nothing but glowing things to say about being tutored by Brady during his three years in New England. But Hoyer, now with his fourth NFL team, came to the Patriots as an undrafted free agent, not the 22nd overall pick, as was Texas A&M's Manziel.

Manziel brings a larger-than-life persona, but Pettine did not see it during Manziel's first week. Serious competition begins Wednesday, the first of the Browns' 10 organized team activities.

"All my dealings with him, he's been quiet, humble, he's fun to be around, he tells good stories and he's very serious about football," Pettine said of Manziel. "His football intelligence, it's not like 'I just dropped back and ran around.' He knows the game and he's been well taught, whether it was coach (Kevin) Sumlin at A&M, coach (Kliff) Kingsbury, who's now at Texas Tech."

Gordon expected for OTAs

Pettine said Josh Gordon worked out in Berea on Monday, as he has been, and is expected to participate in OTAs.

On May 9, ESPN reported Gordon, who led the league in receiving yards last season, is facing a one-year suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The league has yet to comment.

Asked if he expects to have Gordon through training camp and preseason, Pettine said, "I think we'll be better able to answer those questions once we know what the situation is."

On Greg Little

The Browns released third-year wide receiver Greg Little on Friday and Little was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

A second-round pick in 2011, Little played in 48 games and started 41, catching 155 passes for 1,821 yards and eight touchdowns, but was plagued by dropped passes.

"While Greg Little might be talented enough to play in the NFL, we didn't feel it was a situation that was best for the Cleveland Browns," Pettine said.

Gordon tweeted his close friend Little, saying "Wearing all black Oakland Raider! Congrats to my bro, on to bigger better things." Little tweeted that "October 26, 2014 is definitely circled beleedat!" That's when the two teams meet in Cleveland.

Moving camp possible

Pettine said the Browns have discussed moving training camp, but it would be difficult to accomplish this year.

"I was always a part of a team that went away," Pettine said of his stints with the Ravens, Jets and Bills. "You put the players in a setting where maybe it requires a little more focus. You take the players away from their comforts of home and get them away from their families. They're concentrated completely on football. But it's quite an undertaking. It's something I would say is a possibility in the future."

Pettine said the Browns explored practicing against the Redskins in training camp, but they already had a commitment with the Patriots.

Roster moves

Wide receivers Anthony Armstrong and Taylor Gabriel, running back Jourdan Brooks, offensive lineman Randall Harris, defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel, defensive back Robert Nelson and tight end James Oboh signed with the Browns. All were among the 35 invited to last week's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

Wide receivers Josh Cooper and Tori Gurley, running back Jamaine Cook, offensive linemen Anthony Dima and Michael Philipp, fullback Chris Pressley, tight end Andre Smith and defensive lineman Elhadji Ndiaye were waived.

Pressley was thought to be a significant addition for offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's attack when he was signed on April 14. Pressley started for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011 and 2012; an injury kept him on the physically unable to perform list last season. Pettine said the Browns have a couple of players who might convert to fullback.

Armstrong is entering his fourth NFL season and has appeared in 35 games with 13 starts. In 2010, Shanahan's first year as offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins, Armstrong caught 44 passes for 871 yards and three touchdowns.

(c)2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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