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Haslam tells Manziel to prepare to be a Browns backup
And the Browns owner denies he stepped in to pick 'Johnny Football'

Tim Rudell
Haslam says he left the drafting to GM Ray Farmer.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
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In his first appearance since last week’s NFL draft, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam brushed aside talk that he engineered the pick of Johnny Manziel – and said both he and Manziel know their place in the organization. WKSU’s Tim Rudell has more from Monday's Q&A at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon in Canton.

LISTEN: Haslam on Manziel

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Jimmy Haslam said Johnny Manziel isn’t Cleveland’s starting quarterback, despite being a first-round selection and national celebrity. He insisted that “Johnny Football” will have to earn the job, and he insists that GM Ray Farmer, not he, decided to pick Manziel. 

Haslam also told the standing-room-only crowd that something happened on the first night of this year’s draft to reinforce his conviction that he owns the team with the best fans in the NFL.

“You talk about fan support…I think I read this in USA Today Saturday, or maybe this morning. Of all the NFL markets, if you take the percentage of TV’s tuned into the NFL Draft on Thursday night, what do you think was the highest?  Cleveland, OH.  And that’s not the first time it’s been that way.  I think that speaks to the love of football up here.”

After telling the gathering of about 400 not to expect the 2014 Browns to jump from 4-12 to 12-4, Halsam also said he thinks team will be greatly improved over last year’s squad.

Listener Comments:

I have been a cleveland browns fan since theywere formed in 1945 i bleed cleve browns every sunday i started with marion motley and otto graham i awill be 90 years and i will die in peace if they would just make the play offs we have a browns backers club and i go every sunday and all of us are just waiting for the day the browns get back to where the belong a power house with respect go browns

Posted by: emil masarik (margate florida) on July 4, 2014 6:07AM
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