Browns Name Brian Hoyer Starting QB Over Johnny Manziel
The Cleveland Browns have their starting quarterback for week one, and his name isn’t Johnny Manziel. Head coach Mike Pettine announced on Wednesday that the Browns would enter the 2014 NFL season with veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer under center, instead of their first round rookie.
Manziel seemingly had a chance at snatching the starting job from Hoyer, but was only adequate in his first preseason game, while visibly struggled in his second preseason outing. Add in Manziel’s off field behaviour and a middle finger gesture toward the Washington Redskins’ bench on Monday night, and it may have been an easy decision for the Cleveland brass.
That, or the Browns prefer to have Manziel debut in a more ideal setting.
At the very best, Manziel displayed inconsistency, which arguably showed he would struggle against tough opponents like the Steelers, Ravens and Saints through the first three weeks. While Manziel showcased a knack for creating something out of nothing and displayed a strong arm and solid accuracy, he also struggled with timing and clearly needs work on reading defenses.
Hoyer wasn’t much better in his two preseason appearances, but he also appeared to be negatively impacted by the pressure of “Manziel mania”. That’s a bit of a poor excuse for his horrible timing at times, but he does have more experience and was overall a little more poised than the rookie.
With no clear gap between the two, the battle was easy to call. In fact, Pettine had stated more than once over the course of the summer that it was Hoyer’s job to lose and that an even finish would likely result in Hoyer keeping his job.
Hoyer doesn’t have a cakewalk ahead of him, as the Browns open the season on the road against a tough Steelers defense. With two more tough matchups before their week four bye week, it’s fairly likely Hoyer struggles and the Browns are in an 0-3 hole when they gear up for week five. Should that indeed happen, that could be the perfect time for a more prepared Manziel to finally make his pro regular season debut.
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