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Mike Pettine on Johnny Manziel starting vs. Bengals

The Browns will go with Johnny Manziel vs. the Bengals. Hear what he and Mike Pettine had to say about his first NFL start.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns and head coach Mike Pettine confirmed Tuesday that rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel will make his first career start Sunday when Cleveland host the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.

Manziel takes over for veteran Brian Hoyer, who has kept the Browns in playoff contention

"We’ve made the decision to start Johnny this week against the Bengals. This decision is really not about Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, it is about the Cleveland Browns," Pettine said. "We are always going to make decisions that we feel are in the best interest of the team. Brian has done everything that has been asked of him and he has done so as a true professional."

"It’s never just any one position when a unit is not functioning at the level you’d like. We are trying to get the offense to perform at a higher level. Johnny has worked very hard to earn this opportunity and it will be very important for every member of the offense to elevate their play for us to obtain our desired result."

As for Manziel himself, he's excited to finally get his shot to start for an NFL team.

"I’m very appreciative of the opportunity that Coach Pettine and the coaching staff have given me to be the starter on Sunday," Manziel said. "I’ve tried to spend my entire season learning what it takes to become a pro and it’s been great to watch Brian because he knows what it takes. I’ve prepared every week to be ready to help the team however possible and my focus has been on improving every day.  I’m very excited to get out on the field with my teammates on Sunday and to have the opportunity to make the Dawg Pound proud."