The Browns officially named Brian Hoyer their starting quarterback for the first week of the regular season on Wednesday, leaving first-round pick and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel to serve as the No. 2 quarterback to start his first year in the NFL.
Browns coach Mike Pettine said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that Manziel reacted “as expected” because he’s “a competitor.” He also said that he didn’t question Manziel’s dedication to the game after an offseason that had some wondering whether Manziel’s fondness for the good life would have the Browns doing just that.
For his part, Manziel said he felt he got a fair opportunity to win the starting job and that “I don’t feel like I would’ve gone back and done anything differently” over the last few months. Instead, he put the focus on his own performance and said he didn’t “necessarily” feel like he was ready to get the nod from Pettine.
“If I would’ve come out and played better, I think it would’ve been a different outcome,” Manziel said.
It’s probably a fair assessment of the situation. Hoyer didn’t set the world on fire this summer, so it’s hard to feel that all of the rolled up dollar bills, drinking on inflatable swans and extended middle fingers in the world would have stopped Manziel from getting to the top of the depth chart if he’d been the clearly superior player on the field.