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Johnny Manziel mania can officially start with solid Browns debut

FootballPro FootballJohnny ManzielCleveland BrownsBrian HoyerNFL PreseasonDetroit Lions
Johnny Manziel has a successful debut with the Cleveland Browns in an NFL preseason opener
The rookie known as Johnny Football passes for 63 yards and runs for 27 more in Browns' 13-12 loss to Lions

The Johnny Manziel hype train can continue chugging along after his successful debut in the Cleveland Browns' 13-12 loss to the Lions in an NFL preseason opener for both teams Saturday night in Detroit.

Manziel completed seven of 11 passes for 63 yards and rushed six times for 27 yards, avoiding big hits on a few occasions by sliding or heading out of bounds.

“It was a good start,” Manziel said in a postgame news conference. “You have to start somewhere and set a foundation. I got my feet wet, got my first preseason game under my belt.

"The times I did take off, I felt like I got out of bounds, slid, and tried to protect myself in the best way that I could. I feel fine."

Manziel's main competition for the starting job, incumbent Brian Hoyer, was not as efficient passing but did have a couple of big strikes when completing six of 14 passes for 92 yards. Neither Cleveland quarterback threw for a touchdown, fumbled or had a pass intercepted.

Browns Coach Mike Pettine, who has said Hoyer is the starter and Manziel is the challenger in training camp, was noncommittal after the game.

“They both did some things more suited to their skill set,” Pettine said. “I think Brian was high on a couple throws. I think he would want those back, and he threw a couple other nice balls in there. Then I thought Johnny did some nice things from the pocket, and when he got out, he created a little bit as well.”

As Manziel pointed out, there's more to come.

"Luckily for me there's three more games to get out there and learn," he said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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FootballPro FootballJohnny ManzielCleveland BrownsBrian HoyerNFL PreseasonDetroit Lions
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