The Cleveland Browns are coming into OTA workouts with plenty of attention as Johnny Manziel starts his offseason and while the media are coming to Ohio with Tim Tebow like vigor, the Browns are not worried about the national attention and this comes as Manziel will battle Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback position in 2014.
The Browns drafted Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in the first round after trading up and now he comes in with more attention than anyone in the draft other than Michael Sam and now the media is coming to Ohio. According to ESPN.com, the Browns are allowing the national media at OTA workouts after previously saying they would be bringing in just local reporters and some national media. Manziel had his first workouts over the weekend and now he is getting into organized team workouts, which are coming up this week.
Manziel has been told that he is the backup to start and he will get the chance to compete with Brian Hoyer for the starting job. The team has been inundated with requests after Manziel was drafted and head coach Mike Pettine understands what it's like to have media attention on a backup, as he was with the Jets when they had Tim Tebow. Manziel is better than Tebow was and now he will be in the spotlight anytime he takes the field for the Browns. Manziel said he was not fazed by the media attention and added that he has been dealing with this for years already.
The workouts are being covered by the national media and while Manziel is the main story, there is plenty to go around in Browns camp. Ben Tate is coming in as the new starting running back, the team signed Joe Haden to a new deal and added Justin Gilbert with their first round pick along with Pettine as head coach. The team has plenty to worry about heading into the summer, as Hoyer is still coming back from surgery and Josh Gordon could be suspended, but there is hope in the air.
The team released Greg Little and signed both Earl Bennett and Miles Austin to deals to make up for the potential loss of Gordon and that could be a huge hit for Cleveland. Last season Gordon had over 80 catches and led the league in receiving yards with over 1,600 yards and now he will be looking to come back strong once the NFL works out how long to suspend him.
Last season the Browns finished 4-12 on the season and ranked 11th in passing yards per game and 27th in rushing yards per game. Tate will help with the consistency on the found and adding Gilbert to a unit that already has Haden and Donte Whitner should improve things on defense, especially with Pettine being a defensive coach.