Burleson likes confident quarterbacks

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Nate Burleson has been around many different types of quarterbacks in his 11 previous seasons in the NFL, but above all else, he wants to be in a huddle led by a confident signal-caller.

And according to Burleson, no matter who wins the Browns' quarterback competition, veteran Brian Hoyer or rookie Johnny Manziel, the team will have just that for the regular-season opener at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 7.

"I like confident quarterbacks," Burleson said. "I like guys that are borderline cocky. Both of those guys have that. You can see it. Johnny makes a play. He walks back and he's got a swag to him. His shoulders are bouncing. Same thing with 'B.' Hoyer would throw a ball and throw a little wink at you. That's what I like.

"I like getting in the huddle and seeing these quarterbacks basically saying, 'I'm the captain of the ship. Let's hit the seas and let's go pillage and plunder what we want.' That's exactly what these two guys have got. We're going to follow their lead. This is an intense sport. We're not here to play around. We're here to make the city proud. We're working for that. We've got a long way to go, but we've got two guys competing for the same spot and we can't go wrong either way. It's exciting."

What is very exciting to Burleson is the way Manziel has grasped the playbook since the Browns took him with a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft back in May.

"It looks good," Burleson said. "I came in early because I was injured over the summer. Injured guys and rookies got a couple practices in before everybody else. He was looking like he's looking now. He's whipping that ball around. He knows what he's doing.

"He's a rookie, so he's going to make a couple mistakes here and there. You can't expect the guy to be perfect. I'm in year 12 and make a mistake or two. He looks good and he knows the playbook. He's just in a position where everything is over-exaggerated, but he's handling it well."

After spending the offseason and first three weeks of training camp working with the quarterbacks, Burleson expressed appreciation for both Hoyer and Manziel.

"I like (Hoyer)," Burleson said. "He's fantastic. He knows the playbook. I just said earlier he has a quiet swag about him. He has a lot of qualities. He's really good. I like him a lot.

"I love Johnny. I do. Johnny is for real."

One thing Burleson would not love is choosing between the two, which will be the job of coach Mike Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains over the next two four days.

"I'm just glad I play football," Burleson said with a laugh. "I'm not upstairs, so I don't make that decision. The good thing is if it's a difficult decision, either way, it's going to be a good decision.

"I'm just glad that I get to catch balls from both of them. My job is to run around, get open and catch the football. If I have to make that decision, they're going to have to pay me a little more."


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