NFL

Hoyer named Browns' starting quarterback over Manziel

{eot}
The Canadian Press
8/20/2014 5:20:32 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

BEREA, Ohio -- Brian Hoyer defied long odds -- and stiff-armed Johnny Football -- to keep his dream job.

Through sweat and tears, he fought his way back from a serious knee injury only to be faced with the Browns drafting Johnny Manziel, college football's dynamic quarterback with the cult-like following.

Hoyer, though, persevered. He endured grueling rehab to get back on the field sooner than expected, stayed focused as Manzielmania consumed the Browns, and ignored trade rumours. It will be Hoyer who will lead the Browns, his hometown team, onto the field for the Sept. 7 opener against the archrival Pittsburgh Steelers.

For a Cleveland kid cut by three NFL teams and waiting for his chance, it doesn't get any better.

"Obviously it's very special for me," Hoyer said. "Did I believe this could happen after I got hurt? There was no doubt in my mind, but there were days when rehab (stunk) and I hated what I was doing. It's amazing how you appreciate the game when it's taken away from you."

Needing to fix his offence quickly, first-year Browns coach Mike Pettine chose Hoyer as his starter Wednesday over Manziel, who wasn't able to do enough during training camp or two preseason games to convince Cleveland's coaching staff he deserved the job.

Manziel is 0-1 as a pro.

"It's obviously disappointing," Manziel said. "I feel like if I would have come out and played better it would have been a different outcome. I don't think I played terrible, but I didn't do anything to jump off the page. I made strides and got better throughout training camp and that's what I wanted to do."

Despite a 40 per cent completion percentage, 57.9 rating and seeming to buckle under the pressure this month, Hoyer will start the season. However, in Cleveland that usually only guarantees one game. After all, the Browns have had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999. Hoyer is the 12th QB to start the opener, a damning indictment toward a franchise that has only made the playoffs once in its expansion era.

The first major decision of Pettine's coaching career wasn't easy. He chose Hoyer's experience over Manziel's potential and he may have to make another switch. Pettine knows the best plans can change in an instant.

"Give me a crystal ball, and I'll tell you," he said when asked if Manziel will play this season. "The NFL season is so long, so much can happen. We don't want Brian looking over his shoulder thinking one bad throw and I'm out. But over time, if you feel you have to make a change, time will only tell.

"You could foresee a scenario where he doesn't play this year and there are other scenarios that are absolutely possible as well. It's hard to tell."

Pettine brushed aside the notion Hoyer is on a short leash.

"This is Brian's job," he said. "I never think of it whether it's a leash or we want a guy to be a game manager. We want him to be confident and go out and play."

Pettine's selection of Hoyer will finally allow the Browns to move on to other things, and there's plenty of work to be done.

Pettine had targeted the third preseason game as the drop-dead date to pick his starter, but after both Hoyer and Manziel looked so bad in a loss at Washington on Monday, he met with his staff Tuesday night. He informed Hoyer and Manziel of his decision before a team meeting.

Hoyer didn't have enough time to contact his family, but while he was in the meeting, he received dozens of congratulatory text messages.

Nothing has ever come easy for him and although there was an outside perception Manziel would prevail, the 28-year-old Hoyer wasn't going down without a fight.

With Manziel on his heels, he can't relax.

"My entire career's been looking over my shoulder," he said. "The pressure you put on yourself is far greater than anything else, because when you're a rookie undrafted and you're trying to come in and make a team, there's no one to look over. You're just trying to get on the team and to me, I feel like I'll carry that chip with me forever."

Manziel temporarily is pushed aside, and that appears to be OK with the 21-year-old, who draws attention with every move he makes on and off the field.

Manziel hopes the hysteria quiets down a little.

"I'm the backup quarterback," he said. "I shouldn't be in the spotlight."

Manziel has no regrets about the way he approached his competition with Hoyer. He was widely criticized for some weekend partying, but the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner insists he wouldn't change a thing. He's developing as a player, maturing as a man, and hopes to one day take over.

"Now next time I come into training camp I won't be surprised by it," he said. "But I wouldn't go back from the point after the draft to now and change a single thing. I'm going to continue to live my life and the off-season is the off-season. I'm going to go places, I'm going to do things and that's going to have no effect.

"Obviously I need to do it in the proper way, but I'm still going to continue to have fun in my life and continue to live my life."

For now, as a backup.

NOTES: Browns DE Desmond Bryant underwent wrist surgery. Pettine doesn't know yet if Bryant, limited to 12 games last season by a heart problem, will be back for the opener.

Brian Hoyer (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Not Hot In Cleveland?

Preseason QB Comparison


BRIAN HOYER:

Comp-Att: 8-20

Passing Yards: 108

TDs-INTs: 0-0


JOHNNY MANZIEL:

Comp-Att: 14-27

Passing Yards: 128

TDs-INTs: 1-0

Other Facts and Figures


- Brian Hoyer went 3-0 as starter last year before his ACL injury. He joined Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Alex Smith as only quarterbacks to go 3-0 over Weeks 3-5.


- Since the tracking of Total Quarterback Rating in 2006, Cleveland's quarterbacks have posted the second-worst Total QBR in the NFL.


- Only once since they returned to the NFL in 1999 has a Browns quarterback started all 16 games in a season (Tim Couch in 2001)


Source - ESPN Stats and Info

Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: Septemeber 2nd - Alex Marvez

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 joins the show to discuss Jim Irsay, Michael Sam, and J.J Watt.

TSN 1050: Game Night: September 1 - Matt Florjancic

WKYC Cleveland's Matt Florjancic joins Andy McNamara and John Letherby on Game Night.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Communications Joe Horrigan joined Game Night with Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara to talk NFL Hall of Fame Weekend


More Podcasts

NFL on TSN and CTV

Sunday, September 21

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CKPR)


Houston Texans at New York Giants - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CITL)


Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic, CTV Saskatchewan)


Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Winnipeg)


Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Two Toronto, CTV Two Ottawa, CTV Two London, CTV Two Vancouver Island, CTV Two Alberta, CTV Two Atlantic)


Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Two Atlantic, CKPR, CITL)


Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
8:15pm et/5:15pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


Monday, September 22

Chicago Bears at New York Jets
7pm et/4pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


NFL on TSN Broadcast Schedule

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television