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Browns notes: QB Brian Hoyer remains atop depth chart, Jordan Cameron on contract talks and more

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 11, 2014

Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer is still atop the Browns' depth chart, and rookie Johnny Manziel is still No. 2 in the wake of the team's 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener Saturday night.

Of course, that could change after the next preseason game Aug. 18 at Washington.

But, for now, Hoyer still has the lead.

"Yeah, I mean nothing's changed," Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday after practice. "If there was a significant change on the depth chart, it would be reflected on the field."

After starting the exhibition opener, Hoyer worked exclusively with the first-team offense Monday while Manziel operated the second unit. The defense got the best of both quarterbacks, especially Hoyer, who threw two interceptions in 11-on-11 drills.

Pettine said the coaches have yet to decide which quarterback will start next week against Washington. He said "it'll probably be a few days" before the decision is made.

In the meantime, Hoyer and Manziel will split first-team practice reps much like they did last week.

"We will mix the reps this week, but as far as starting the game, we'll make that decision again as a committee," Pettine said. "But it'll be based on several factors."

What does Manziel need to do to receive the start against Washington?

"Just continue to master his craft, run the offense, be efficient," Pettine said. "I don't think there's any one thing, a tangible thing you can say, 'If he does this, then this will happen.'"

Pettine said the coaches wouldn't start Manziel just to start him.

"To me, if you're going to put a [guy] in a starting role, I've always felt that needs to be earned," Pettine said.

Still, it would be surprising if Manziel didn't start against Washington. Last week, Pettine said "it's possible" Manziel could get the starting nod.

Asked in June if Manziel would face starting defenses in the preseason, Pettine said,  "If a guy has a chance to be a starter, I would think that you’d want to expose him to a starting defense if he was going to be the guy opening day."

Back in action, contract talks

Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron returned to practice Monday. He had been out since he suffered a sprained AC joint in his shoulder when he fell on it Aug. 2 during an intrasquad scrimmage at the University of Akron.

Cameron was limited to non-contact drills. He participated in 7-on-7 sessions but not 11-on-11.

"We anticipate him being able to go against Washington," Pettine said.

After practice, Cameron revealed contract extension talks with the Browns have been going well.

"It's positive," said Cameron, who's scheduled to become a free agent next March. "The whole process has been positive. I'll leave it at that. It's ongoing and it's going well."

Is he hopeful a deal could be reached before the upcoming season?

"Always hopeful, but right now, I'm not worried about that at all," Cameron said. "We've got Washington to look forward to, so it's not that important to me right now."

Being careful

Free safety Tashaun Gipson (sprained knee) said he could have played Saturday but was held out as a precaution.

Opportunities await

Pettine said he wants to give rookie inside linebacker Chris Kirksey and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard more work with the starters against Washington.

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