advertisement

Cleveland starting Hoyer, not Manziel vs. Washington

Thursday, August 14, 2014 | 11:04 p.m. CDT; updated 3:35 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 15, 2014

CLEVELAND — Brian Hoyer has held off rookie Johnny Manziel for at least another week.

Browns coach Mike Pettine has chosen Hoyer to start at quarterback ahead of Manziel in Cleveland's second exhibition game on Monday night at Washington.

Pettine's decision is somewhat surprising since he has stated that the quarterback competition is "open" and Hoyer started the preseason opener last week at Detroit. Pettine has said the two quarterbacks will share the snaps with Cleveland's first-team offense against Washington.

"It's just something right now where we are comfortable with Brian going out there to start the game," Pettine said Thursday. "I think it's a little overblown as to who the starter is going to be. The key component, as I've stated earlier this week, is that we are going to balance the reps.

"We will play it a little by ear as it goes on, we haven't truly decided as far as the rotation but the goal is, for when we look at the stat sheet at halftime, that they both have the same amount of repetitions and hopefully they both get a good amount of work."

Earlier this week, Pettine did not know if the quarterbacks would rotate by series or quarter. Pettine did say Cleveland's starter would play "in the neighborhood" of a half.

Hoyer and Manziel have been competing for the starting job since training camp opened last month, and their back-and-forth battle appears to be headed into its final days.

Neither QB has taken control of the job, leading to endless speculation about who is leading and who needs to make up ground.

Working exclusively with Cleveland's starters last week, Hoyer, in his first game action since sustaining a season-ending knee injury in 2013, completed 6 of 14 passes for 92 yards and set up two field goals.

Manziel, the immensely popular first-round pick from Texas A&M, only played with the second-stringers and completed 7 of 11 passes for 63 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 27 yards on six carries.

Manziel's pro debut helped NFL Network set a ratings record for an exhibition game.

Pettine said he had no issues with Manziel starting against Washington in a nationally televised game expected to draw a large audience.

"I'm not concerned about Johnny on a big stage," he said. "He's proved throughout his career he can handle it."

Hoyer began camp with a lead on Manziel, but the former Heisman Trophy winner has been closing the gap as he learns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's detailed system.

On Tuesday, the team signed veteran quarterback Rex Grossman, who has played under Shanahan and should be able to help Hoyer and Manziel get more comfortable with the offense.

Pettine wants to name his starter for the Sept. 7 season opener at Pittsburgh before the Browns' third preseason game on Aug. 23 against St. Louis.

It's possible the QBs' performances against Washington could factor heavily into Pettine's decision.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements