Browns backup QB Manziel glad for other rookies as he waits to play amid Hoyer's breakout



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BEREA, Ohio — Blake Bortles is starting for the Jaguars. So is Teddy Bridgewater with the Vikings. Johnny Manziel, meanwhile, continues to serve as Brian Hoyer's backup with the Browns.

It's been a surprising turn of events for the three rookie quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round.

"I'm happy for those guys because they're getting an early chance to play," Manziel said Friday following practice. "That could have been my chance here, but it isn't. Those are their situations and this is mine.

"It's hard to guess how things are going to play in the future, but I think it's all about how you handle it when you're not on the field. That's really what sets you apart."

Johnny Football will again be holding a clipboard Sunday when Cleveland plays at winless Jacksonville.

The Browns (3-2) have won two straight and Hoyer is having a breakout season at age 29. Their collective success has limited Manziel's game action to five plays, the last of which occurred on Sept. 21 against Baltimore.

"With the reps he gets in practice, Johnny has been effective," Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said. "He gets a couple reps with the twos running our stuff, and gets in there with the scout team running the other teams' offenses. He's good."

Manziel's scout team duties had him mimicking Bortles, who was the No. 3 pick out of Central Florida. The Jaguars turned to him three games ago after Chad Henne presided over three blowout losses.

Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner said he did his best to become Bortles on the field.

"You can definitely tell in Jacksonville's offense that there is some stuff that they've put in for Blake to utilize his mobility," said Manziel, who has thrown one incomplete pass and handed off four times. "I tried to give them a good look doing that."

A fourth rookie quarterback — second-round pick Derek Carr — has been starting all season for Oakland, which will play at the Browns next week.

Manziel continues to top all first-year players in jersey sales but insists that he isn't jealous of his peers. The former Texas A&M standout said learning the complex offensive system of Cleveland coordinator Kyle Shanahan has been more difficult than he expected.

"What we do here wasn't anything that I was asked to do at A&M, so I knew it would take some time," the No. 22 overall selection said. "Now, knowing that some of the ideas spill over into the next week, I feel like I can study that. I'm a lot more honed in, which makes me a lot more comfortable."

Manziel's comfort level has become so high, even around Hoyer, that the latter's impending free agency hasn't been discussed in the quarterbacks room.

Hoyer earlier this week said that he wanted to play in Cleveland but also somewhere where he would be on the field. Hoyer's agent later added that Manziel wouldn't be a factor in Hoyer's free agency process.

Manziel said everything while play out, but the situation hasn't been on his mind.

"Brian is playing very, very well and he does everything the right way," Manziel said. "To sit back and watch him for as long as this may be, I think it's beneficial for me."

NOTES: Browns C Alex Mack (left fibula fracture) was placed on injured reserve, one day after undergoing surgery to repair a broken leg. . Pettine said rookie RB Terrance West, who was a healthy scratch last week against Pittsburgh, will be active in Jacksonville. . DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and S K'Waun Williams (concussion) were declared out for the Jaguars game.

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