Browns coach Mike Pettine said Thursday that Brian Hoyer is "securely ahead' of Johnny Manziel heading into training camp next month and will be No. 1 on the depth chart, but that his lead is not "insurmountable'' for Manziel.

"It's been hard to evaluate because Brian hasn't been able to take the 11-on-11 reps, but when we put the depth chart together, Brian will be No. 1,'' said Pettine at the conclusion of minicamp Thursday.

Pettine agrees with general manager Ray Farmer that Hoyer is substantially better than Manziel right now, but is confident Manziel can catch up.

"I think when Ray made the comment, he talked about the lead being just because of the circumstances, that Brian had been here for those seven, eight weeks before the draft even started,'' said Pettine. "That was essentially a head start and I don't think it's insurmountable. Brian is securely ahead of him right now, but we will compete and we will decide.

"The issue for us as a staff is finding the right time to name a starter. If you wait too late, then nobody's ready for the opener; if you do it too soon, then it wasn't a true competition. That will be part of our discussions as well as far as OK, here's the plan, here's a date that we want to go ahead and name him.''

Pettine stressed that the club hasn't really begun the competition in earnest yet.