The Cleveland Browns are going on the safe route and picked three-year veteran, Brian Hoyer, over rookie quarterback, Johnny Manziel for the starting quarterback slot in the upcoming National Football League season.
"He was the clear leader from the beginning," coach Mike Pettine said in a statement. "We have 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, with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room."
According to ESPN, the final selection of the person to orchestrate the team's offense came doubly hard for Pettine as both players struggled during the pre-season. Hoyer got the nod during Monday's pre-season loss to the Washington Redskins, completing just two of six passes while Manziel got heavier exposure but disappointed with an outing that results to seven completed passes out of 16 tries, good for a touchdown and 65 yards. The Browns lost by a solitary point of 24-23.
The same game also hogged the headlines as the neophyte quarterback was caught on camera giving the middle finger to the Redskins bench as he was walking away at the end of the third quarter. Pettine commented that his young prodigy should have behaved maturely given that all eyes are fixed on him.
Hoyer was penciled in as the starter during the training camp and his season ending knee injury might have factored in to the hype of a rookie taking the job from him. While he did not do much to cement his spot, Manziel did not do anything extra-ordinary to take it away from him. Pettine lauds Hoyer's poise in handling the situation. The mentor bared that he used the pre-season games to develop cohesion and chemistry for the team.
The three-year veteran only has four starts on his resume but that is understandable given that his run last year was halted by a torn ACL against the Bill last October 3. Before the injury, Hoyer was already showing promise and leadership as he has led the team to two wins prior to the injury.
"I think a lot of people discount that," Pettine said. "Here is 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 is only going to get better."