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Hoyer ready for QB battle with Manziel

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POSTED May 21, 2014 10:24 p.m.

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Unlike most Clevelanders, Brian Hoyer didn’t jump up and down or cheer when he heard the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel.

Hoyer shrugged and got ready to fight for his job.

“It was almost a sense of relief when he was drafted,” he said, “because I knew exactly right then and there what it was going to be.”

It’s going to be a quarterback battle unlike anything Cleveland has seen before.

Hoyer, the hometown kid and incumbent starter, and Manziel — the college football superstar with the larger-than-life persona, catchy nickname and Heisman Trophy — were on the field together Wednesday, the second day of organized team activities.

With roughly 60 media members lining the fields and focused on the two QBs’ every move, Hoyer and Manziel went through passing drills and took turns behind center in a competition expected to last several months.

Afterward, Hoyer said he and Manziel are developing a “working relationship” and joked the pair are getting along splendidly.

“I was thinking about sending him a birthday card,” Hoyer quipped.

Hoyer, though, understands what under first-year coach Mike Pettine meant about the quarterback competition being somewhat heated.

“I totally get it,” he said. “I don’t think we’re in there not being friendly. But when you’re gunning for the same job, there is a little bit of an edge to it.”

The Browns are expecting Manziel to challenge Hoyer, who is coming off right knee surgery. The team has made it clear that Hoyer is the starter and will remain so unless Manziel can beat him out.

This is nothing new to Hoyer, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament last season. Hoyer has been battling for a job since he joined the NFL, only this time he’s the one that others are gunning for.

“It does feel different because as of right now I’m the top guy, and before I’ve always been coming from behind,” Hoyer said. “My mentality has never really changed.”

Manziel did not speak to reporters after practice, but several Browns players were asked about their famous new teammate, the scrambling magician known as Johnny Football. The former Texas A&M star fell in the first round before Cleveland traded up to take him with the No. 22 overall pick.

So far, Manziel has kept his head buried in his playbook.

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