Whitner suggests Browns players are fine with Hoyer or Manziel


The Browns locker room is split on starting quarterback.  But there’s apparently no schism.

Safety Donte Whitner, who let the cat out of the bag while in San Francisco that Colin Kaepernick would keep the starting job after Alex Smith’s concussion healed, tells Peter King of TheMMQB.com that the locker room currently is divided, but possibly not in a bad way, on whether Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel should start.

“It’s been fierce,” Whitner said of the competition. “Two guys fighting for their lives.  It’s close.  I’d say [the locker room] is split about 50-50.  We know they both can play.”

That’s fine for now, but if Manziel struggles, that half of the locker room that supports Hoyer (whom left tackle Joe Thomas has compared to Tom Brady) may change their minds about Manziel and clamor for a change that would be much harder to make than benching Hoyer for Manziel.

The best news for Manziel is that Whitner (and presumably other teammates) has no resentment arising from the Johnny Football persona.

“Very quiet,” Whitner said of Manziel.  “Very respectful.  He’s earning his keep so far.  He’s not asking for any privileges.  He’s just a rookie, and he’s acting like one.  When we have the rookie show, he’ll sing just like the rest of them.  As far as football goes, I’m seeing him put the ball on the money like a veteran.  Sometimes the receiver drops it.  Sometimes the receiver isn’t even looking for the ball and it bounces off him.  He’s got the confidence a quarterback has to have.”

Manziel definitely has the confidence.  The problem could be that he has too much confidence, especially when it comes to his ability to avoid injury when getting banged around by NFL players.  Which could mean that both Manziel and Hoyer will play this year, if/when (when) Manziel’s style gets him hurt.

31 responses to “Whitner suggests Browns players are fine with Hoyer or Manziel

  1. With the Browns’ neglect of the OL, it is not IF Hoyer and Manziel will get hurt, but WHEN they will get hurt and need a 3rd, 45h, and 5th QBs.

    I hear Tebow is still available. Can you see the Browns coaching try to micro-manage that after how they have stepped all over themselves so far?

    And who would Browns fans handle a down to earth, decent type of guy who professes his hero and role model is Jesus of the Bible? How would that play out in the Black and Blue division and rabid Browns fans (yes, there still are a few of them) who love the bad boy, dog pound hype (even though its been the puppy mill and time out corner for the last few decades)?

  2. Either one should fulfill their low expectations. But Manziel will be a much funnier crash-and-burn.

  3. Would seem that Manziel has a higher ceiling, so if it’s 50/50 now, the smart money would be on Johnny Drama elevating his game and taking the #1 spot.

  4. greej1938l says:
    Aug 11, 2014 9:53 AM

    I am sooooo sick of this discussion



    He’s better at his off the field antics than his on….much more creative.

  5. Something interesting that I noticed about that 20 yard run he had, number 18 was wide open around the spot where Manziel slid at. It was an exciting play but Hoyer would have made that same gain doing what QB’s do… throw the ball to the open guy. Is it exciting and fun to watch? Yep. But has it ever worked long term in the NFL? Nope. Don’t even get me started on the shoulder first diving either.

  6. In regards to the first comment. The browns have the best left tackle and center in football. They drafted a guard in the second round that is starting and has great reviews. Their line is not weak. Do your research and please don’t spam our site with your weak knowledge. You’re probably a bandwagon seahawks fan.

  7. he needs to worry about not being a terrible player. Cant wait to see him get burned regularly and every now and then lay a big hit that leads to a penalty.

  8. If they’re smart, no question that you start Hoyer for a few regular games and let JF develop a bit more. If Hoyer falters after a few games then put JF in. It’s a no-brainer.

  9. “Browns neglect of the O line”?

    They have two all pros, a tremendous rookie and two other solid starters. They are in the top ten in the NFL. How have they neglected the O line?

  10. truths4all says:
    Aug 11, 2014 9:31 AM
    With the Browns’ neglect of the OL, it is not IF Hoyer and Manziel will get hurt, but WHEN they will get hurt and need a 3rd, 45h, and 5th QBs.


    Seriously not sure if serious or completely oblivious to Browns 2014 off-season.

  11. And if Johnny doesn’t “sing like everybody else”? Amazing that the hazing nonsense STILL goes on. Here’s hoping Johnny & the rest of the rookies tell the “respected ” veterans like Whitner where to go!!

  12. For Manziel to get the starting nod, he’d have to play well in the next game with and against the ones. He was playing against and with the twos in Detroit. If Hoyer gets the start against Washington, the dye is cast. If Manziel gets the start, the coaching staff really sees this as a competition. The starter of game three will be the regular season starter. I think it will be Hoyer.

  13. Next presser: THIS JOB IS MANZIEL’s TO LOSE! He has shown enough in the locker room showers to be elevated.

    Give or take an inch here or there.

  14. I’m so tired of the media trying to tell NFL execs and coaches how to manage their teams or players. Thank god we don’t listen to the media about every point. Manziel can play how he wants. I’m sure Fran Tarkenton did, as did others. He will adjust accordingly. It’s no big deal.

  15. Oops. Looks like the front office has finally put some pressure on the players to start hyping Manziel. Up to this point, literally every report I heard on the Browns player’s preference showed that they supported Hoyer. Now, after one preseason game, the locker room is suddenly “divided 50/50”. Uh huh.

    It’s painfully obvious that the word has come down from Haslam that he just wants to see his first bug draft pick on the field. Even though independent sources have continually reported that Hoyer has looked better in camp, the word keeps coming from the team itself, from news sources they “own” like clevelandbrowns.com and Mary Kay Cabot, that Manziel is gaining steady ground and we can all see where this is going. Hoyer is totally going to get the shaft- mark my words.

    The funniest part about it is that the Browns brass probably think that the average person doesn’t see how this is all unfolding…. but it couldn’t be any more obvious that they are trying to force Manziel into the starter position, throwing yet another first round QB to the wolves as ASAP- a plan they keep using over and over and failing over and over. Something about the definition of insanity in there, eh?

    I feel bad for Hoyer because, even if he plays well (or flat out better than Manziel), he’s going to get screwed as long as Manziel doesn’t outright embarrass himself in the preseason. Through the rest of these preseason games, watch for Manziel to not necessarily outplay Hoyer, but be handed the starting job anyway.

    Gotta love Cleveland. Stuff like this is what made them perennial basement dwellers and, no matter who owns or runs the team, it just seems to be a mentality they can’t break out of. Sad stuff.

  16. Pettine is conservative. Hoyer is the man. In an interview he referred to Hoyer as “Brian” and Manziel as “Manziel”. Preferential?

  17. it sounds like alot of Johnny Manziel haters don’t like him because of the constant media coverage he gets. It’s not his fault his life is under a microscope

  18. What would you expect him to say? He will support any QB that isn’t as prolific at giving the ball to the other team as recent Browns QBs.

  19. As a Browns fan, you got to let the kid play from day 1. Hoyer is a hard-working, competent guy, but he’s still just a guy who’s bounced around the league. He was waiting by the phone when the Browns called last year.

    I have no idea how Johnny will do and one pre-season game performance (or 2 or 3…) mean nothing. In fact, like most QBs not named Luck, he’ll need the entire season just to learn the basics of the NFL game. If he’s an obvious bust, then the Browns lick their wounds and draft another guy next season with a top 10 pick plus Buffalo’s 1st rounder. Johnny wasn’t their first choice anyway because they passed on him twice and they would have drafted Brandin Cooks if the Saints hadn’t moved up ahead of them. But, Johnny has the mental chops to be big time. Does he have the body and physical skills is another question.

  20. Johnny Bravo will be drinking out of a straw after he plays against the AFC North rivals.

    He did nothing against the Lions, a Punter could of done better.

    I think it’s time for some exposure on this glorified Pee Wee Herman.

    Tim Tebow has been working out very hard and deserves another shot, Miami or Cleveland should give him a call.

  21. The first comment is idiotic. Browns have a great o-line with the best left tackle in the league and top 5 center. You start Hoyer, the Cleveland home town boy who played well last year til he got hurt. Hope he succeeds, then trade Johnny to Dallas for way too much after Cleveland makes the playoffs this year. Problem solved.

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