Mike Pettine: Hoyer No. 1 entering camp, but lead isn’t insurmountable


The Browns are wrapping up their mandatory minicamp this week, leaving training camp as the next big milestone on the path to the regular season.

It will also bring a temporary end to questions about their quarterback competition, although they are sure to start up again once they report for work this summer. That would be true under any circumstances, but it will be unavoidable after coach Mike Pettine’s closing comments on this portion of the competition left the door open for Johnny Manziel to wind up beating out Brian Hoyer.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Pettine said that Hoyer will be the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart when camp opens, “but I don’t think it’s insurmountable.

That’s a shift from the earlier updates on how things were playing out in Cleveland. General Manager Ray Farmer said last month that Hoyer was ahead of Manziel by “a substantial margin” and the Browns were making a unified effort to sell Hoyer as the team’s presumed starter. Pettine obviously didn’t alter that scenario, but it’s the biggest signal yet from the team that Manziel could be the starter come Week One.

Everyone will have to wait until July and August to see if Manziel can eliminate whatever’s left of that substantial margin, but it’s never a great idea to bet against quarterbacks drafted in the first round making a quick trip to the starting lineup.

52 responses to “Mike Pettine: Hoyer No. 1 entering camp, but lead isn’t insurmountable

  1. As a Browns Fan, I haven’t been THIS excited about the oncoming season since The Bernie Days.
    No matter which one is #1, I can’t wait!!!

    GO BROWNS!!!

  2. Translation: Manziel is going to start, but we want to make it look like he has to fight for the job.

  3. I think it would be wise for the management of the Browns to keep their mouth shut.

  4. browns4ever says: Jun 12, 2014 2:15 PM

    As a Browns Fan, I haven’t been THIS excited about the oncoming season since The Bernie Days.
    No matter which one is #1, I can’t wait!!!

    GO BROWNS!!!
    Still baffled by this- the competition and the attention is meaningless, because the competition is between Hoyer and Manziel. In other words, it’s a competition between 2 guys who will never be franchise QB’s. Ever.

    Facts hurt, but theyre still facts.

  5. I’m rooting for Manziel to start Week 1 against the Steelers. The rivalry needs an infusion of some pizzazz, and Manziel’s presence will provide that.
    A Manziel vs. the Steelers season-opener will be The Talk of the NFL, before, during and after. Hope Pettine has the guts to make it happen.

  6. Looks like some football writers are getting bored, and thus are digging for anything they can spin into a major story. Farmer says “Hoyer is ahead by asubstantial margin.” Pettine says, “Hoyer is #1, but I don’t think it’s insurmountable.” OMG! THE GAP HAS SHRUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Or has it? From day 1 of training camp to Game 1 vs Pittsburgh is two months. A ton of things can happen to football players and teams in that much time. So Hoyer could still be ahead by a “substantial margin” and it can still be “not insurmountable.”

    Move along, nothing to hear here…………

  7. This is the same way the Dolphins brought along Tannehill in his first year. That way at least they can say the QB y earned it and pump up their confidence without hurting the legitimacy of competition for the rest of the starting spots.

  8. No rookie QB’s in the NFL should just be handed the starting QB job if at all avoidable. When he earns it he will get so much more respect from the vets. I wish Hoyer well. I think he was an undervalued asset. It’s going to be interesting if nothing else.

  9. Everybody just needs to calm down a little. Of course Hoyer’s lead is insurmountable.

    Johnny Football has thrown for zero NFL touchdowns. And zero interceptions for that matter.

    In his six year NFL career Hoyer has an almost perfectly balanced seven TD passes and six interceptions.

  10. What a crappy way to handle things. Just come out and say that Manziel’s gonna start. You ‘ve been told so by the owner. Hoyer will be more ready to go but won’t get the nod.

  11. Rooting for Hoyer here. Manziel will have his time on the field for years to come. Hoyer’s window is short due to the presence of Manziel.

  12. Honestly, I think the Browns shouldn’t do what the Browns do and rush the guy out there. Starting week 1 vs maybe the #1 defense in the nfl this season isn’t exactly going to help his confidence.

  13. Who is that rooting for Jamorca Russell to make a comeback and start? Well, of course, it’s Mike Dumbturdi!

  14. The best thing that can happen for the Browns this season is for Hoyer to do enough to keep Johnny on the bench. Having a rookie hold a clipboard is never a bad thing… just gotta hope he looks good enough to one day take the reigns, which is what Brady Quinn was never able to accomplish.

  15. Pettine, admit you’re Haslem’s lap dog and you’re going to start Manziel because your boss is telling you to. It doesn’t matter how well Hoyer plays, or how poorly Manziel plays. The script has already been written!
    All you foaming at the mouth Johnny lovers make sure you get your free spatula on giveaway Sunday the first game of the year. The Steelers will appreciate your help scraping Johnny off the turf once their defense imbeds him there!

  16. Johhny’s gonna light it up…trust me…playoffs year one, Gordon or no Gordon…..Johnny can’t do what he does best in OTA’s or training camp, what he does best can only be done in a real game…..

  17. The only opinion which counts on the debate over who should start is the homeless guy’s opinion.

  18. People saying he should sit and learn forget that he’s not the most studious guy. I submit to you that Johnny is as good as he will get.

    He’s not gonna study and he’s not gonna watch Hoyer to learn. If he’s not on the field, his mind will wander to everything but football.

    So play him early or play him late, whatcha see is what you get. All the Whitfield QB coaching will fly out the door, once the 6’5″ 275s come running for him. He will revert to run, duck, jump, twist, turn, throw. If he has time.

    Composure, patience and discipline can be taught, but only if the subject wants to learn it.

  19. The faster he starts, the faster the world realizes he doesn’t have the chops to play at this level, the faster he’s out of the league or relegated to career back up duty.

    This guy is Tim Tebow without God. Well, not that bad, but relatively speaking compared to the media hype.

  20. Hoyer will be the starter in week one. A rookie won’t start against a division rival. If you think differently, you’re a Pittsburgh fan.

  21. With all the haters out there, they should just be glad that the Browns, and not their team, drafted Johnny. We poor Browns fans will just have to watch, wait, and suffer. (sarcasm for some of you)

    We have Johnny and we’ll cheer or cry with him. Our biggest worry will be in trying to keep him after his 3rd or 4th straight SB!

  22. It was a mistake to draft him in the first round, and it will be a mistake to start him on day one.

  23. Someone needs to tell Pettine to shut up.

    He’s beginning to look like he is just as much of a ‘look-at-me!look-at-me!look-at-me!’ guy as their new QB.

  24. Will be a rough season for the Browns. It will be Tebow mania 2.0 if Johnny the joke isn’t startting. Billboards, fan yelling for him, etc…etc..

    No way a team can be succesful if they have to flip flop QBs like will happen.

    I think Manziel will be Todd Marionvich 2.0 in no time . Do not see the kid being a great NFL QB. Winging in college is one thing, winging it in big boy football doesn’t work.

  25. Will be a rough season for the Browns. It will be Tebow mania 2.0 if Johnny the joke isn’t startting. Billboards, fan yelling for him, etc…etc..

    No way a team can be succesful if they have to flip flop QBs like will happen.

    I think Manziel will be Todd Marinonvich 2.0 in no time . Do not see the kid being a great NFL QB. Winging in college is one thing, winging it in big boy football doesn’t work.

  26. The team AROUND the QB is important too…

    Some players that don’t do well, or as well as they could, is because the system or style of play doesn’t suit them.

    Front offices and teams as a whole have to have a plan and draft and trade for players who FIT their plan and style of play.

    Pop and the Spurs do this.

    The St. Louis Cardinals have a system from the minors through the big league club…

    Like the Pats or not (I don’t like them, at all), they do have a system, a Patriots way so to speak.

    The Browns change coaches and the front office so much over the years, even the Pres and G.M. that it’s difficult for them to have any system or plan in place.

    The Browns have had either 19 different QB’s start a game for them since 1999 when football returned to Cleveland. Think about that, 19 QB’s have started for them in the 15 seasons from ’99 through ’13.

    From 1998 through the 2010 season, the Colts had ONLY Peyton start games for them.

    Yes, that is the other extreme…

    But, MANY QB’s since 1999

    Many coaches since 1999

    Many G.M.’s and Pres’ since then too…

    Equals bad record and no system.

    Teams with this track record require a Peyton, Brady, Rodgers or Brees to make things work there.

    There aren’t many of those QB’s out there. And when teams run like the Browns (too much change), it leads to QB’s going in and out for them.

    This is the Browns 8th head coach and it’s their 16th season since football returned in 1999 to Cleveland.

    A successful team cannot average a NEW head coach EVERY two years… for a decade and a half.

    The Browns have had 19 QB’s start a game in the 15 seasons for them. That doesn’t cut it.

    I bet several of the Browns QB’s could have been OK had the team been run better and had there been a consistent system run year after year with players brought in who fit that system.

    Johnny just MIGHT be run off and folks will say “see, I told he wouldn’t make it!”

    Matt Cassell won 11 games with the Pats. Matt Cassell’s stats were the best of his career that one season he replaced Brady.

    That is NOT a coincidence.

    I know this. However well or poorly Johnny plays for Cleveland, he would have done BETTER if he were playing for the Pats…

    And that’s because of the team, the organization and the other players around him.

  27. It doesn’t matter who starts week one, they could start Spurgeon Wynn, or Tim Couch, and they would still come out with a win against the hapless Steelers the first game. I do Love the competition of these two guys, should help both in the long run. Let the Dynasty begin!!!

  28. Browns fans think this will be fun. Others know it will be a circus. Consider this unlikely scenario (wink wink): Johnny barely beats out Brian for the starting job. Johnny starts to stink it up a few games in. Then what? Can the Browns go back to Brian and basically prove to the world another 22nd overall pick was wrong? So bank on it: Johnny Football is NOT starting until WELL into the season when/if Hoyer doesn’t do well. Once Johnny’s in starting, you can’t bench him or the whole team, including GM and owner, look like fools. Meanwhile, Hoyer can have a 97 percent passer rating and fans will be screaming to bench him. Circus.

  29. I don’t quite understand the blind Johnny FB haters. Ok so you don’t like his hype but at least try to hold back on the nasty bashing till he either proves he’s going to suck or not. None of us will know for sure until the kid actually plays in NFL football games. I’ve watched several interviews the media did with teddy Bridgwater right after the draft and honestly, thhe kid sounds like an arrogant diva in the making. So you weren’t happy Teddy when JF got drafted ahead of you, but coming right out and bashing the Browns to stroke minnesota for saving you froom falling to the second round was kinda classless. Maybe if he had actually managed to perform at an above average level at the combine, your Pro day, and the many private workouts you got with teams would’ve put you up where Bortles got drafted instead of the 1st round basement. None of us know for sure how any of these guys will be in the NFL. QB’s are probably the biggest crapshoot in the NFL draft. But I’m willing to not bash any of them until they prove they suck but nobody will have a glimmer of their potential until September starts with real games. I wish all the new rookies good luck!

  30. As an Eagles fan, I remember last offseason where Kelly had that competition and then put the more flashy quarterback as the starter. I hope this doesn’t happen to the Browns because they aren’t going anywhere with Johnny Football. And if they do, its because of that defense, not because of Manziel.

  31. Hoyer played well in a very small portion size last year. He was not the 2nd coming of Peyton Manning but a competent and efficient starter. In Cleveland land that equals Superstar because the play typically is terrible. Hoyer will have a shot but the pre season games will decide who starts. I truly believe Johnny’s range as a rookie goes from little or no action on the field all the way to AFC offensive rookie of the year. Despite what some haters think, this team has enough talent to compete with just about anybody if they get solid QB play. Question remains can either of these guys provide that?

  32. Translation: Manziel is going to start, but we want to make it look like he has to fight for the job.


    Exactamundo. There is no way the Cleveland Browns will not start their over-hyped star attraction. Jonny Football aka Jonny Cleveland will start Week 1.

  33. You would have to be an idiot to not start Hoyer. Johnny Football is a HUGE question mark- Hoyer is a small one. The smart money starts Hoyer without question.

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