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 against Robert Griffin III and the Redskins.
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 the Redskins.
“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.”
Hoyer and Manziel have been competing for the starting job since training camp opened last month. 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.
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.