The Cleveland Browns continue to insist that their quarterback competition is a wide open race. One man -- and a very important one, at that -- isn’t buying it.
Legendary Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told Tom Reed of Cleveland.com this week that he fully expects Johnny Manziel to be under center when the Steelers take on the Browns in Week 1 of the NFL season. Manziel is competing with veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting job.
“I’m expecting Manziel to be the starter,” LeBeau said. "That's what I'm expecting. What he did in college is not an accident. He did it often enough against good teams."
Reed reports that others in the Steelers organization have gone off the record in saying they expect Manizel to be the Week 1 starter as well.
Later in the interview, LeBeau went out of his way to compliment the skill set Manziel brings to the table.
"I think he is going to be a handful for all of us," LeBeau said. "You watch all his games and he created plays, he made plays, he kept plays alive. He has the ability to see people and the touch with the football to get it in there late in the down. I think he will be successful at this level."
Manziel was just 3-7 for 14 yards during a Browns inter-squad scrimmage last week. He added two runs for 14 yards. Though his stats don’t look impressive, media personnel in attendance say he showed his signature scrambling and play-extending ability. He would have been credited with a touchdown had fellow rookie Charles Johnson not dropped a pass in the end zone.
Hoyer, meanwhile, went 7-11 for 56 yards.