BEREA, Ohio — Subdued.

That’s the best way to describe the opening day of Cleveland Browns training camp.

This camp-without-buzz opened to fans lining the sidelines and chanting some players’ names when they emerged from the team’s facility.

But there was no outward cheering for Johnny Manziel -- though there was great appreciation for him spending a fair amount of time after practice signing autographs. There was no lack of energy, but there was no great excitement at plays, and no great chatter on or off the field.

As first practices go it was functional, but abbreviated as coach Mike Pettine limited the scheduled 2 hours of work to two hours to help ease players into things (That timeframe brought on-air groans of jealousy from ex-NFL defensive back Jerod Cherry of ESPN-Cleveland radio WKNR; Cherry played in the two-a-day era.)

AP/Tony DejakBrowns quarterback Johnny Manziel signs autographs for fans on Thursday in Berea, Ohio, after a subdued first day of training camp.

Pettine dubbed it a good start, but even he might admit that most coaches would say they had a good start after Day 1 of camp.

Something was missing.

There was little buzz and a clear lack of a vibe. There was no spark, and little excitement. The biggest outburst from the fans came when Terrelle Pryor finished a short catch by running to the end zone as the defensive back more or less stopped. Pryor did the right thing, and it was a good play. But the biggest moment of excitement came from a quarterback turned receiver who admitted he is facing a tough task.

Lack of buzz and attention might not be a bad thing. Pettine’s theme this season is “words Into action,” so perhaps the team is simply being more businesslike.

And perhaps the buzz from drafting Manziel has simply dissipated following his disappointing rookie season and subdued offseason.

One year ago, national media and TV trucks flocked to Berea for the opening of camp. In 2015, the only flocks were seagulls closer to Lake Erie.

It’s not like the opening of camp should bring bells, whistles and fireworks. This one just seemed unusually quiet, more like a practice during minicamp or in the middle of October than the exciting start of a new season.

Is it the result of an offseason when people predicted little or nothing from the Browns in 2015? An offseason that resulted in the suspension of the team's best receiver and the first-round quarterback from a year ago relegated to backing up a 36-year-old who has never played a full season of 16 games?

That’s a valid view, even if it is the glass-half-empty take.

The half-full view says a start without buzz is, in some ways, refreshing.

The Browns have talked a good game for years, then gone out and laid the proverbial egg during the season. They did some talking before this season, but Pettine started camp by putting his foot down about actions meaning more than words.

This led to a functional, but subdued first day.

The next real gauge will be Saturday, when players don pads.

CINCINNATI -- Margus Hunt plans to play for the Cincinnati Bengals often this regular season.

He would like to get a few snaps in one or more preseason games, too, but the possibility of that happening remains out of his hands.

For now, the defensive end considers himself day-to-day as he builds up his conditioning after an April back injury prevented him from participating in springtime workouts. Asked where he would classify his relative health at this point, Hunt said "about 80 [percent]."

"We're at the point right now where I can't really take part in team activities yet," Hunt said Thursday. "But we're still in the rough timeline that we thought where we'll be at."

Margus HuntAP Photo/Gail BurtonA back injury suffered this spring is keeping defensive end Margus Hunt on the PUP list for now.

That timeline included placing Hunt on the physically unable to perform list earlier this week. His inclusion on the PUP list simply means he's unable to practice until doctors clear him. Apparently he's getting closer to that happening. Hunt was slated to participate in Thursday's pre-training camp conditioning drills. While other players went through the exercises to see where their relative strength and conditioning was, coming off the offseason, Hunt just wanted to do something to see how close he really is to playing again. His rehab since April has included training at the Cincinnati-based Ignition Athletic Performance Group's complex.

Admittedly, it's been a rough few months for the third-year end who has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career. Ankle, knee and rib injuries caused setbacks last season, much like the back issue this past offseason.

"I was called injury-prone a lot, but it was all these injuries and hits that kept happening that ... it wasn't anything to do with me being weak," Hunt said. "It was just all these little things. My ankle that kept me out for four weeks. I mean, that was just B.S. It's just stuff like that. But, I kept battling through it. This is football. Everybody gets hurt."

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has remarked all offseason about how the injuries have affected Hunt's ability to get into a rhythm since being a second-round draft pick in 2013. Just when Guenther could tell certain concepts were beginning to stick with Hunt last season, the Week 12 ankle injury occurred, and his growth was stunted slightly.

"He's one of the guys on the cusp of maybe breaking through as a starter," Guenther said at Tuesday's team kickoff luncheon. "Last year he was progressing at a high rate. Even the little things maybe you don't notice, once he went down and missed [games], it was like starting over again.

"We just have to keep him on the field."

Hunt feels the same way.

But even if he's beyond ready to get back on the field, Hunt believes going through some of the struggles that have come at the start of his career has been a good thing.

"It's good to kind of have that experience," Hunt said. "It was a good thing for me to kind of push and press through all that and realize this game comes with setbacks like that and that injuries can and will happen.

"You kind of get the frustration out early because you know stuff like this will happen. It's just a matter of pushing through all this and working my way back."

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb failed his conditioning test Thursday, which became the biggest surprise and disappointment of the first day of training camp.

Webb was placed on the non-football injury list until he can pass the test. This comes following an offseason in which he missed organized team activities while his wife was in the later stages of pregnancy.

"It's always a big deal," coach John Harbaugh said. "It was a big deal when Jacoby [Jones] didn't pass it. It was a big deal when Haloti [Ngata] didn't pass it. It's always a big deal."

This continues a rough stretch for Webb. He missed most last year's training camp with a lower back and groin injury and struggled for most of 2014. Webb finished as the 78th-best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus.

Lardarius WebbAP Photo/Nick WassCornerback Lardarius Webb didn't pass his conditioning test at the Baltimore Ravens' training camp Thursday.

There was some uncertainty whether Webb would return to the Ravens. But he took a $2.75-million pay cut to secure his seventh season in Baltimore.

Webb's return has been delayed by the failed test, which measures anaerobic conditioning and the ability to recover.

"Webby is in really good shape in a lot of different ways," Harbaugh said. "I can see it in the way he moves in the weight room. But he's not in the kind of anaerobic shape he needs to be in to come out here in practice. The idea being that, if I go play after play after play and I begin to get fatigued and I can't move the way I need to move, then I'm going to have a fatigue-type of an injury."

Harbaugh said Webb took it hard and he's disappointed in himself.

"Yes, he's a little behind that way certainly and he's going to have to make up the ground," Harbaugh said.

Rashaan Melvin, who started four games last season (including two in the playoffs), replaced Webb with the first-team defense. Even though he struggled in the AFC divisional playoff loss in New England, Melvin proved to the Ravens that he can make an impact.

"I know one thing, Rashaan Melvin is a pit bull," Harbaugh said. "He's one focused guy."

Reserve defensive tackle Casey Walker (knee tendinitis) joined tight end Dennis Pitta and safety Terrence Brooks on the physically unable to perform list.

Four players who were limited this offseason -- cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot), offensive tackle Rick Wagner (foot), center Jeremy Zuttah (hip) and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (quad) -- each practiced on the first day of camp.

“Very encouraged by all of the guys, including those guys [Wagner and Zuttah], that are out there,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got to be smart with those guys as we go.”

After the news about Webb circulated in social media, former Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington tweeted that he knows from experience how tough the test is. It's a series of timed six 25-yard sprints.

Breshad PerrimanAP Photo/Patrick SemanskyFirst-round pick Breshad Perriman injured his knee during the team's first training camp practice, but should be OK.


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- First-round pick Breshad Perriman gave the Baltimore Ravens a brief scare in the team's first training camp practice Thursday.

Perriman fell on his knee after making a sideline catch and walked off the field with a trainer with about 15 minutes left in practice. He seemed to favor his right leg, but he went into the team facility on his own power.

"It's not serious. It's all sound," coach John Harbaugh said. "He'll be back as soon as his knee feels a little bit better. It could be as early as tomorrow or a couple of days at the most."

Perriman, the No. 26 overall pick in the draft, ran primarily with the first team. Like many rookies, he had his shaky moments, dropping a pass and then jumping offside. But he followed that by making a tremendous leaping catch.

"That's part of becoming a good player. Being able to put those mistakes behind you and move on," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "Everybody's going to make them, especially young guys. We have to make sure that we work through it, and they get tough because of it and don't get down because of it. I think he's the type of guy who is going to react well to it and he's going to want to go out there and make another play. I think that we've seen that so far. We just have to make sure that continues."

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- This could be the first time that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs had a clear shot at Tom Brady and decided not to take it.

Suggs, perhaps the most outspoken critic of Brady over the years, chose to take the high road a day after the Patriots quarterback's four-game suspension was upheld for his role in under inflating footballs.

"You know what? All I can say is it’s fortunate that’s not a Baltimore Raven problem, and we’re going to let them handle it and answer their questions," Suggs said.

The feud between Suggs and Brady dates back to 2010, when Brady expressed his frustration about no flags being thrown after taking a hit by a Ravens player. Suggs and Brady jawed on the field and then traded barbs on the radio, where Suggs said Brady and his then-three Super Bowl championships were "questionable."

Despite having an opportunity to question the Patriots' latest title, Suggs showed restraint in not commenting on Brady and his destroyed cell phone.

"We really only focus on Baltimore Raven football and Ravens Nation," said Suggs, who continued his streak of not mentioning Brady by name. "So, I don’t really care too much about that.”

Perhaps Suggs was simply relating to the Patriots' plight. It was only last year when the Ravens were the focus of the football world because one of their star players got in trouble. As training camps are opening this year, the national scrutiny has shifted north to one of Baltimore's fiercest rivals.

"Last year it was kind of ... it was very uncomfortable," Suggs said. "A lot of us [haven’t] been in that type of situation like that before, but it’s good to come into camp with no major negative storyline concerning us."

With a series of kisses and a multistep handshake, Devon Still said goodbye Wednesday afternoon to his 5-year-old cancer-surviving daughter, Leah, just two days before his Cincinnati Bengals begin training camp.

The Bengals defensive tackle posted to Instagram a video that featured the pair bidding one another farewell as he prepared for a flight from Philadelphia -- near where she lives with family -- to Cincinnati. Still will report to Paul Brown Stadium with the team's other veterans Thursday just in time for the start of training camp Friday. He has spent the entire offseason in Philadelphia while Leah has undergone treatments for Stage 4 neuroblastoma.

She went into remission in March, and tests Tuesday revealed she was still in remission.

In the video, Still held Leah with his left arm while asking her to "hold it down for him" while he's gone. They then kissed each other on their cheeks and foreheads before performing an elaborate handshake that had a finish reminiscent of one made famous by Will Smith's character in the 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

Underneath the video, Still included the following message:

"We both knew this day was coming when we had to say bye but we didn't know it would come this soon. I was only willing to show this part of our goodbye because we both make the ugliest faces when we cry so I couldn't do us like that. On a serious note, I'm not leaving her to go out there and play around I'm going to handle business. My daughter has been through hell this past year and now I have the opportunity to make sure she gets the world from here on out. So I'm going to make sure she gets it."

Still added the hashtag #iDidntGrindThisHardToFail.

Grind is exactly what he will have to do the next five weeks to make the Bengals' 53-man roster one year after he was originally cut from it. This preseason, he will be competing with several other defensive tackles for one of the position's final roster spots.

Often this offseason Still has called Leah his inspiration. He's trimmed down his weight and firmed up his body. He went from 317 pounds in January to a more healthy 295 entering this week. After watching how she fought and beat cancer, he has said he's vowed to do everything he can to prove he was worth the Bengals making him a second-round selection in 2012.

Le'Veon BellAP Photo/Gene J. PuskarThe Steelers are thrilled with the news Le'Veon Bell's suspension was reduced by a third.


Fantasy owners aren't the only ones rejoicing that Le'Veon Bell's suspension dropped from three games to two after a successful appeal of his marijuana case.

Teammates have a fun new toy for at least one extra game. Bell has looked noticeably explosive so far in camp, which makes a two-game suspension less of a tease than three.

"He's a guy who's worked his butt off and I think everybody sees the difference in him," Steelers guard Ramon Foster said. "He fought (the case) and won and it's beautiful."

Bell originally got three games because of his charge in August for driving while under the influence of marijuana, signaling a two-game suspension for the DUI and one game for marijuana use. Bell had a case that he shouldn't be penalized twice for one crime. He can participate in all preseason work but will sit two game weeks without pay.

Teammates say they weren't worried about playing without Bell, following the 'next man up' mantra. But as left tackle Kelvin Beachum says, "[Bell] is happy it's just over with and he can concentrate on football." Beachum added Bell's versatility (83 receptions to go with 1,361 rushing yards) is hard to replace. "He can line up in the backfield or you can line him up wide."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after Monday's practice that there are zero positives about playing without Bell, despite the team's confidence in free agent signing DeAngelo Williams.

tight end Heath Miller added: "We will take him when we can get him."

Breshad PerrimanAP Photo/Patrick SemanskyFirst-round pick Breshad Perriman will likely make a play to fill Torrey Smith's former role in the Baltimore offense.


At this time last year, a horde of cameras greeted the Baltimore Ravens at training camp because of the Ray Rice scandal and question marks lingered at several starting positions.

On Wednesday afternoon, the veterans report to a Ravens training camp that is lacking in -- excuse my yawn -- drama.

Unlike their AFC rivals in New England and Pittsburgh, the Ravens aren't dealing with suspensions or off-the-field issues. The biggest injury concern is Dennis Pitta, but the Ravens prepared for the worst by drafting two tight ends. And there is really only a couple of starting jobs that are completely up in the air (No. 2 wide receiver and tight end).

This is what happens when 18 of 22 starters return on a team that nearly upset the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots in the playoffs. The Ravens have positioned themselves quite nicely to reach the postseason for the seventh time in eight seasons by improving a historically bad pass defense and adding young playmakers to the offense.

In the draft, Baltimore used its top two picks on offensive players for the first time since 2008, selecting wide receiver Breshad Perriman in the first round and tight end Maxx Williams in the second. In free agency, the Ravens added safety Kendrick Lewis (Houston) and cornerback Kyle Arrington (New England) to boost a secondary that allowed the most passing yards in the franchise's 19-year existence.

The challenge is overcoming the few, but significant changes. The Ravens are banking on Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams to fill the void left after they traded the best run-stopper in franchise history (Haloti Ngata). Baltimore needs Perriman to step into the role as the team's deep threat after Torrey Smith (11 touchdown catches) signed with the 49ers in free agency. And the Ravens are hoping either Za'Darius Smith or Courtney Upshaw can replace Pernell McPhee (7.5 sacks) as the third pass-rusher.

Nobody expects this Ravens camp to be entirely quiet. Injuries always occur (that's the sound of Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb knocking on their wood lockers), and unsuspecting players will make a run at the roster with big plays in training camp and the preseason.

Still, unless you're sweating out who will return kicks for the Ravens, this camp would make for some poor reality television.

videoIf the Pittsburgh Steelers want to score 30 points per game this season, those efforts just got easier.

RB Le'Veon Bell's suspension reduction from three games to two gives the offense more versatility and alleviates early-season pressure on QB Ben Roethlisberger to handle the offensive load for an extended period.

Bell will be back for Week 3 at the St. Louis Rams, ready to show off his noticeable added explosion. It's only training camp, but Bell looks leaner and says he's in the best shape of his life. The thought of Pittsburgh waiting three games to see Bell on the field made training camp one big tease.

Roethlisberger has two weeks to get the offense clicking to the point where, when Bell comes back, he doesn't have to be a savior, but rather a spark.

DeAngelo Williams is a capable back. Josh Harris and Dri Archer are capable backups. They aren't Bell, who opens up the offense for others because of his ability to catch passes and run for tough yards. Bell's 83 catches last season were the league's second-most from the running back position, behind Matt Forte. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley's quick passing game is better when there's a good dump-off pass available. Not that Williams & Co. can't handle that, but Bell is highly skilled in this area. He's also effective on wheel routes.

The Steelers can prep both Bell and Williams for heavy workloads while having clarity on this issue, moving on with a clear-cut plan in place. That plan should involve getting Williams ready for 12 to 15 carries per game in Weeks 1-2 while giving young receivers Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton more opportunities in the passing game alongside Antonio Brown.

The Steelers' first three opponents (New England, San Francisco, St. Louis) all finished in the top 14 in rushing defense last season. Fighting for tough yards all three weeks without Bell would have been exhausting, even if Williams played well. Bell's presence against the Rams will provide much-needed depth at that moment.

Coming off his best statistical season with 4,952 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, Roethlisberger should be well-equipped to handle the offense without a key player. But several recent observers of Roethlisberger, from Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther to former teammate Ryan Clark, point out that the QB is thriving in part because this is his best supporting cast. He doesn't have to do too much. Bell's presence simply makes the offense run smoothly.

Save injuries, the offense will have that luxury for 14 regular-season games.

CINCINNATI -- Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict was one of three defensive players the Cincinnati Bengals placed on their physically unable to perform list Tuesday. All three will miss the start of training camp, which begins Friday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Each of the players was placed onto the active/PUP list. Because of that, they continue to count against the Bengals' 90-man preseason roster limit and will be allowed to return to practices once medically cleared.

While Burfict has spent nearly all offseason rehabbing from microfracture surgery to his left knee, defensive end Margus Hunt has been trying to recover from an April back injury and linebacker Sean Porter has been attempting to bounce back from an ACL tear he originally suffered nearly a year ago.

Vontaze BurfictAP Photo/Al BehrmanBengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has spent nearly all offseason rehabbing from microfracture surgery to his left knee.

Before news of Burfict's injury-list designation, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was asked at a luncheon earlier Tuesday afternoon about Burfict's progress.

"He's doing well," Lewis said. "When he proves he's ready to sustain football play day after day and the doctors feel good about it, then he'll be out there."

Until Burfict is healthy, expect Vincent Rey and free-agency acquisition A.J. Hawk to split time in camp at the "Will" linebacker position.

Along with Burfict, Hunt and Porter, the Bengals made two other injury-related roster moves.

Rookie offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, the team's first-round pick, was placed onto the active/non-football injury list for an ACL tear he suffered last December during Texas A&M's Liberty Bowl win over West Virginia. Ogbuehi has spent the past eight months rehabbing the injury and, like Burfict, recently posted videos of himself beginning to cut and turn and sprint on the injured leg.

Last year, quarterback AJ McCarron began the preseason on the active/non-football injury list with receiver Marvin Jones. Before the end of the season, McCarron had a PUP list stint and Jones went on the injured reserve. McCarron's injury last season stemmed from shoulder fatigue during college.

Cincinnati also released second-year receiver James Wright under the waived/injured designation. If Wright clears waivers Wednesday, he will revert to the Bengals' IR for the 2015 season. His loss would be a big blow to an already-reeling pass-catching group. After their top three receivers, the Bengals' depth looks quite thin. Wright was expected to be the fourth receiver had he recovered fully from a knee injury he suffered Week 13 last season.

Wright was just coming into his own in that game, converting first downs on all three of his catches in the win at Tampa Bay. Each of the receptions came on third downs.

Running back Le'Veon Bell put on his best stutter-step moves when asked about the status of his suspension appeal last week at camp. He claimed he had no idea where things stood. Maybe that's the case, but his silence can be taken as optimism in light of colleague Dan Graziano's report that the NFL and NFLPA are discussing a possible reduction for Bell's three-game suspension.

Bell's strongest case was always that the league shouldn't punish him twice for his marijuana charge, which was settled in February. He got the proverbial double-down based on new league policies adopted in 2014 -- two games for the DUI, one for violating substance abuse policy. That Bell was driving with marijuana in his system worsened his case.

A reduction to two games seems like a fitting punishment for Bell, who clearly broke rules. But this isn't a case owners are invested in upholding like with Deflategate. Less politics involved. Two games for smoking, move on.

An educated guess is that's the conclusion that will come down soon.

Bell has been contrite in his approach to the suspension, saying last week he'll accept any punishment the league deems necessary. The NFL could still view Bell's case as clear-cut, that getting behind the wheel after taking an illegal substance should be harshly punished. But the fact the league is engaging in negotiations shows they are willing to evaluate a compromise.

Two games should be the compromise.

Also, the league could consider Bell's legal timing as a factor for leniency. Bell’s legal team could point to his February admittance into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time offenders. Completing the 15-month program could erase Bell’s charges, assuming he stays clean for those 15 months.

Bell couldn’t enter the program in time for the league’s informal November deadline for players to keep resolved cases in the parameters of the old NFL drug policy. But he was trying to do just that and got held up by the courts.

LATROBE, Pa. – DeAngelo Williams passes Jarvis Jones in the cafeteria.

"Don't let yourself go," Williams said. "You're looking real good out there."

Jones is one of three consecutive first-round linebackers selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The potential of that group must graduate to production for the Steelers to restore a sagging defense.

The Steelers, once known for pass rushing, ranked 26th in the league with 33 sacks a year ago. The Steelers selected Jones, Ohio State inside linebacker Ryan Shazier and Kentucky edge rusher Bud Dupree in back-to-back-to-back years in part because Pittsburgh typically drafts in the second half of the first round, where the best-player-available draft method prevails. They also wanted to add defensive speed, which Shazier and Dupree clearly have.

Jones isn’t known for his speed but entered the league with a rep as a relentless rusher, producing 24.5 tackles for loss for Georgia in 2012. Jones battled a wrist injury for much of last season but the numbers -- three sacks in two seasons -- are hard to ignore.

Jones aims to change that. And he will need to, because if the Steelers don't find consistent sack masters (Cameron Heyward led the team with 7.5 last season), the offense's goal of scoring 30 points per game won't be enough some weeks.

"He wants to be a guy who gives us 10-12 sacks a year," said Pro Bowl inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, also a first rounder, from 2007. "Very motivated."

Adds Jones: "I'm here to work, I've been working. All the other stuff that goes with it doesn't matter."

While Dupree is a relative unknown until proven otherwise, Timmons and Shazier should have chances to disrupt offenses from several spots. Timmons can be seen rushing the passer on blitz packages during training camp practices. Despite the switch from Dick LeBeau to new coordinator Keith Butler, blitzing will always be a Steelers hallmark, Timmons said.

The preseason usually doesn't matter much but this year "it's going to be fun," Timmons said, because the new defense is expected to try out some new wrinkles.

This fits Shazier's skill set perfectly, Timmons said, because Shazier's range will be utilized well.

"Jarvis, he has a lot to prove just like I do," Shazier said. "We've been talking and we've been working this offseason."

Join us today at our new time -- 3 p.m. ET, 12 noon PT -- for NFL Nation TV's Spreecast 65 as we continue to remain more interactive with viewers and Tom Brady and Deflategate dominates the conversation.

Plus, with all 32 NFL teams reporting to their respective camps this week, there are more than a few questions being raised around the league.

Host Paul Gutierrez (San Francisco 49ers reporter) and co-hosts Coley Harvey (Cincinnati Bengals reporter) and Mike Wells (Indianapolis Colts reporter) will be joined by ESPN.com NFL Insider Kevin Seifert for the 30-minute show to take your questions and provide their takes on the NFL's hottest topics:

Can Adrian Peterson, after a year off, rush for 2,500 yards for the Minnesota Vikings?

How heavy is Russell Wilson's contract situation weighing on the Seattle Seahawks quarterback?

Surely, you have more questions for us so log in, chat with other viewers and lob questions at our panel.

BEREA, Ohio — Mike Pettine covered his bases with his quarterbacks on Monday.

During an informal gaggle with the Cleveland Browns beat writers, Pettine said Johnny Manziel could win the starting quarterback job in preseason.

If, however, Bill Clinton made well-known what "the definition of is is," then Pettine also might be defining the role of "could."

Yes, Manziel could start the opener. But he also could be the third quarterback on opening day.

Josh McCown is entrenched as the No. 1. He will get every opportunity to start. The Browns have gone out of their way to avoid a quarterback competition, and they're not going to create one now. Barring injury or a fall-on-his-face preseason, McCown will start the opener against the Jets.

But no coach ever rules out a player winning a job. If Manziel comes in, seizes the job with his play on the field and earns the starting spot, he should get it. By saying he won't guarantee McCown would start the opener, Pettine merely acknowledged the competition he wants to create.

Manziel has a very tough climb ahead of him to take the job, though.

And in fact, he has a challenge to retain the backup spot.

Connor Shaw ended the 2014 season impressing everyone with his play against the Ravens. Thaddeus Lewis has experience and did go 2-3 with an 81.0 rating in five starts with Buffalo in 2012.

Manziel reported with the other quarterbacks on Monday. Late in the afternoon, he emerged from the players side of the facility carrying a six-inch thick binder stocked with the team's offense.

Following Lewis, he trudged up the stairs where the coaches' offices are.

Training camp begins on the field on Thursday.

SPONSORED HEADLINES