Browns are smart to make Manziel a backup


It’s easy (and a little fun) to criticize the Browns for their handling of Manzania.  But there’s one thing the Browns are doing right.  At least for now.

It’s smart to install Johnny Manziel as the backup to Brian Hoyer, for several reasons.  First, it will (or at least could) humble Manziel, at least a little.  Second, it gives Manziel a hurdle to overcome, which in turn will give him some extra confidence (not that he needs it) when he “earns” his way into the starting job.

Third, if Manziel stinks, the Browns won’t have to drop him down the depth chart and in turn admit that they never should have made him the starter.

Despite anything the Browns are saying, the days of using a first-round pick on a quarterback and parking his butt on the bench are over.  Also over are the days of putting a first-round quarterback on the field in the preseason behind a backup offensive line against backup defensive players looking to make an impact figuratively by making an impact literally on a young superstar quarterback.

Really, how can the Browns let Manziel play behind anything other than the starting offensive line?  Regardless of what they’re doing to keep him in line, he’s an important asset to the future of the franchise.  It will be difficult if not impossible to put that asset at enhanced risk in the preseason in the name of sending a message to the player and the fans and the media that the town invented by Moses Cleveland is now owned by Johnny Manziel.

35 responses to “Browns are smart to make Manziel a backup

  1. Love the point you made about the preseason. They may not be the most talented guys on the roster and the game may not necessarily count but those guys are fighting for a roster spot and are looking to make a memorable play. etc. A big hit on the QB.

  2. Not unless they want to get rid of him. Then they do what the Jets did. Put Sanchez in behind the second string line in a meaningless pre season game. Problem solved.

  3. “Despite anything the Browns are saying, the days of using a first-round pick on a quarterback and parking his butt on the bench are over. ”

    Actually, those days should be back. Due to the way rookie contracts are now negotiated, teams aren’t pressured to put their new $100M QB on the field right away. Teams now have an opportunity to train a first round player and let the game ‘slow down’ for him before he’s put on the field. As the pro game is that much different and faster than college, the rookies have a chance to learn without the financial pressure to get them on the field.

  4. From the small sample I saw of Hoyer, he looked like a quality QB and he seemed to have the respect of all of his teammates. This is why Manziel should be the back-up, not to humble him or make him jump through hurdles.

  5. Don’t get the strong vote of confidence in Hoyer. He had a 82 passer rating last year. He had a 3 int game against the Vikings. The Vikings! I’m willing to bet if Hoyer does start week one, it won’t be for long.

  6. The fans didn’t buy all of those season tickets after Manziel was drafted to watch him hold a clipboard. They are going to scream to see some Johnny Football.

  7. Seems smart to me also, although not accomplished, Hoyer is cerebral and watched Brady for quite a few years, Johnny can sit and learn watching Hoyer, getting a view of how the offense works, while gaining a little more time to settle into the pro game.

  8. the browns play in a weak division with the ravens steelers and bengals. i see the browns whooping on these teams to win the division and maybe a playoff win since the afc is not very good.

  9. I’m in no way a Manziel fan but the last thing you would want to do is humble this kid. Watching him in college it looks like he thrives off his attitude and without that he’ll be just another Cleveland QB

  10. 1. A fanbase who is notorious for blaming quarterbacks for poor offensive lines/wide receivers/etc.

    2. A team with no wide receivers

    3. A team with no rushing game (27th in the NFL in 2013)

    4. A division with the NFL’s 5th ranked PASS Defense, the NFL’s 9th ranked PASS Defense, and the NFL’s 15th ranked PASS Defense

    This should turn out great.

  11. The city was founded by Moses Cleaveland.

    The name was shortened to “Cleveland” after Pittsburghers moved there in 1888 and had trouble spelling.

    It’s a Yinzer thing.

  12. The world is waiting for Johnny Football, the Dawg Pound, and all that comes with being a Browns fan. Hoyer makes sense in the short term but this is all about Manziel.

  13. Rex Ryan says there is nothing wrong with playing Johnny Football behind a scrub offensive line in the fourth quarter. Builds character…

  14. Brian Hoyer will get the Kyle Orton treatment. If he stumbles a little bit or the offense struggles the fans will be chanting “Johnny! Johnny!” and billboards will go up begging for him to play. Just like Tebow in Denver. I guarantee you’ll see more Manziel jerseys than Hoyer jerseys…just like Mile High was covered in #15.

  15. Given Hoyer’s small numbers (2 complete games as QB) over the past 5 years, it won’t take long for Johnny to take over.

  16. Russell Wilson started out with backups against backups in the preseason. That turned out OK. Manziel is mobile enough that he should avoid hits and excel against that competition and just cement the fact that he should be the starter…if he really is ready.

  17. I laugh every time I hear ESPN say the Browns haven’t had a quarterback since Bernie Kosar. Back then, the Browns also had a TEAM, including a very good coach.
    As a Steelers fan, I sense the Browns are finally getting their act together. They are building a team. Whether they have the right coach or not, that remains to be seen. At any rate, at some point, Manziel will be plugged in … just in time to take ALL the credit, which will eventually lead to taking all the money, which will eventually lead to the team being dismantled so he can be paid an enormous and obscene salary.
    The NFL is a vicious circle.

  18. Brian Hoyer
    Career NFL statistics as of week 5, 2013
    Number of game as starter: 3
    Win-Loose 2-1
    TD–INT 7–6
    Passing yards total 1,231
    QB Rating 77.6
    ACL injury reserve end of season.

  19. The problem with the whole “Why would you play Manziel behind a backup offensive line in the preseason” logic is if he is NFL starter quality it would be no different than playing a college game since he would be playing against backup defenses (thus a mismatch in favor of Cleveland). Russell Wilson and Collin Kaepernick are great examples of that but the best example would be the Browns other QB Bryan Hoyer who last year I believe was the only QB in the NFL to play all four quarters of a pre-season game without coming out. It was a WIN vs Chicago at that.

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