Preseason kickoff: Browns ready to battle Lions

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The Browns will battle for the Barge on Saturday night in Detroit.

Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine feels his team is ready. “I think we are. I think the coaches have done a good job towards the end of this week getting the guys ready for what we’re actually going to show. We’ve probably given them a little more to study than they’ll actually run so the ready list and the call sheet are different sizes, but I think we’ve had a good build-up to it. We’re all looking forward to going against somebody else.”

He will turn the number one offense over to Brian Hoyer while rookie Johnny Manziel will work with the second unit.

Both QBs appear ready. Hoyer has shown very little effects of having knee surgery last fall and Manziel has looked more and more comfortable with the offense as the playbook have grown less and less daunting.

Manziel was thought to be getting some snaps with the number one offense as well on Saturday, but on Thursday, coach Pettine clarified things.

“I don’t think he will. I think we’re going to let Brian Hoyer go. The circumstances could change that obviously. For this game, I think pretty much stick to the units as we’ve practiced so Brian with the ones and Johnny with the twos.”

Aside from the obvious quarterback battle, what other position tussles are worth watching? Pettine thinks there are several. “Running back, the guard spot – I think there’s good competition there. (OL John) Greco, (OL Garrett) Gilkey, I want to see how (OL Joel) Bitonio plays. I’m very interested in that. [I’m looking forward to seeing] the receivers.”

Let’s talk more about that offensive line. Seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas tried the discussion on for size.

“I think we’re doing some things that are good and we’ve definitely got a long way to go in some other areas. This is a new offense for us. It’ll be good to have these preseason games to go against a different opponent and get a chance to block some guys that aren’t wearing orange helmets. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think these preseason games will really help us gel and really help us get where we need to be when the first Sunday of the season starts.”

The Browns first two preseason games are on the road, with the final two at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Keep it to FOX 8 News and for highlights of the first preseason game Saturday night.

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