Before the draft started, Browns coach Mike Pettine said it would be difficult for anyone in the draft class to beat out Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback job.
That didn’t stop the Browns from ending a Thursday night spent hopping around the draft board with a trade up to secure the rights to Johnny Manziel and the frenzied reaction to that selection wasn’t because people were excited about him coming in as a backup. Pettine acknowledged Manziel’s high “it factor,” but said that nothing had changed in terms of the route to the starting role.
“Whether he was taken at four, or going at 22, it will be a competition and I meant that when I said it,” said Pettine, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I don’t think you can hand jobs to people when they come in. It’s a situation where despite what’s around him and what’s following him — and there will be that pressure to play him — we’re in the business of evaluating the best quarterback for the Cleveland Browns to win football games and that’s who’s going to play, whether that’s Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel.”
Hoyer has said several times this offseason that he is approaching the season with the mindset that he’ll be in the starting job and he was equally unshaken by the arrival of Manziel in Cleveland. The Browns texted Hoyer to give him a heads up about the forthcoming pick and Hoyer returned the message by telling the brass to “bring him on.”
The trend around the league of late has been to let young quarterbacks learn on the job, so we’ll see how things play out for the Browns now that they actually have multiple quarterbacks they’d feel comfortable starting. It might not be enough for fellow Browns quarterback Vince Young to call them a dream team, but it certainly looks like a step in the right direction.