Brian Hoyer Named Cleveland Browns Week 1 Starter Over Johnny Manziel

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | 0


After an offseason full of rampant speculation and daily updates, newly signed Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine has finally named his Week 1 starter for the team’s opening game against division rival Pittsburgh Steelers, and it’s not Johnny Manziel.

Brian Hoyer was named the starter today after Pettine met with his coaching staff late last night to formulate a final decision. Hoyer showed flashes of brilliance during limited action in 2013, developing excellent rapport with talented tight end Jordan Cameron before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

But Hoyer didn’t look nearly as sharp in the 2014 preseason, going only 2 of 6 in the Browns’ narrow 24-23 loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday night (August 18, 2014).

Still, Pettine believes that Hoyer is the man to get the job done in Cleveland, offering support for the quarterback’s leadership to FOX Sports:

“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine said of Hoyer. “We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.”

Pettine continued on about Hoyer, noting that the quarterback is still improving after his injury. He said he also wanted to get the uncertainty out of the way so Hoyer could develop consistency with the first team offense as the preseason comes to a close:

“I think Brian’s been very poised. I think he’s handled the situation well. He’s had a lot of things going on. Here’s a guy coming off of a season-ending knee injury. Really, these are his first, essentially, 20-25 plays of live work back from it, and he’s only going to get better.

I think it’s especially good, as an offensive unit, to go out and play and gain cohesion and chemistry,” Pettine said. “That was one of the reasons I wanted to go ahead and make the decision before this third preseason game so that (Hoyer and the rest of the starting offense) could play as a unit for a good chunk of it.”

Of course, Manziel’s exploits and inconsistency most likely played a part in his decision, as the former Texas A&M star has been in the media quite often as of late, albeit for the wrong reasons. He caught the eye of many by flipping off the Washington sideline on Monday, and he has also been caught in some compromising positions in his active nightlife.

At the end of the day, Pettine said Manziel is getting better, and will be the player to lead his Cleveland Browns into the future. Today, however, Hoyer was simply the right man for the job:

“He’s certainly made great strides,” Pettine said. “We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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