After his solid preseason debut against the Detroit Lions last Saturday, reports indicated that Johnny Manziel had moved ahead of Brian Hoyer in the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback competition.
Manziel completed seven of 11 passes for 63 yards while rushing for a team-best 27 yards in the first NFL action of his career, drawing the highest preseason game television rating in NFL Network history.
The 21-year-old’s chances at starting Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers looked good until Browns coach Mike Pettine announced Monday that Hoyer would start again in the second preseason game against the Washington Redskins.
Now, it looks like Cleveland might be opposed to letting Manziel start in the first week of the regular season — no matter how he performs.
#browns have never wanted to send Manziel into the lion's den of Pittsburgh sept 7. JFF will have to make it impossible for them to sit him—
Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 15, 2014
Pettine is “hopeful” that he will be able to name a starter by next Tuesday and has still not completely ruled Manziel out of the running.
“(Manziel) just needs to go out and play,” Pettine said, via ESPN.com. “That’s the bottom line. They both do. I’ve met with both and discussed the situation, and they’re both comfortable and they both know that it’s going to be up to them when they’re out there to just go out there and do their job. You never want a guy trying to do too much and come out of structure to try to accomplish something. … Do your job, and good things will happen.”
Still, the Browns face the Steelers, New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens before their Week 4 bye, which makes the premise of sitting Manziel until Week 5 seem like a good idea.
Photo via Twitter/@SInow