Since the preseason opener is pretty much the equivalent of playing Rice, it makes sense that Johnny Manziel won’t start it.
Browns coach Mike Pettine told reporters today that Brian Hoyer would start the preseason opener against the Lions.
“He’s done nothing to have that taken away from him,” Pettine said of Hoyer, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Pettine didn’t discount getting Manziel some reps with the first offense, and left open the possibility of Manziel starting at some point in the preseason.
He did say that he wanted to name his starter before the third preseason game, meaning Manziel better make the most of every snap if he wants to be in the mix.
To be honest, playing with the second team might benefit Manziel for several reasons. First, he’ll get more snaps, since starters usually play about two series in the opener. Also, he’ll be working against second defenses (his peers), which makes it easier to look good. Of course, he’ll also be working with the second set of wideouts and linemen, which may negate some of that edge, as well.