Browns coach Mike Pettine said he wouldn’t decide who was starting Monday’s game against Washington until Thursday, but that his celebrity rookie and Brian Hoyer would split reps with the first team.
“The bottom line coming out of the game is that they both should get close to equal reps with the ones no matter who starts,” Pettine said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Johnny’s going to get reps with the ones, Just to me, the factor of starting the game I think is a little bit overblown in this situation because we’re going to try to balance the reps with the ones in the game, so I don’t think it was anything that, Brian came in ahead. It’s a little overrated who trots out there for the first time.”
Sure it is. That’s why it’s a topic every day in Browns camp, with Manziel and Hoyer alternating days with the starters.
So Pettine isn’t naive, and understands why Manziel helped the NFL Network set a ratings record.
“I think the phenomenon still surprises all of us, but we want attention on this team because we’re a good football team and we’re winning games,” Pettine said. “It’s nice to have the media attention here, but we want to get to the point where it’s for the right reasons.”
It certainly appears that no matter how much Pettine seems to be fighting it, the arrow is pointing straight toward Johnny Football. Making him compete for a job isn’t a bad thing, but the scales seem to keep tipping his way.