Committee to decide Browns’ starter on Tuesday


On Monday night, Browns quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel will share first-team reps equally.  The winner starts Week One against the Steelers.  The loser is guaranteed to walk upright and without a limp on the morning of September 8.

Coach Mike Pettine confirmed to reporters on Friday the the “target date” for picking a starter is Tuesday, baring “something unforeseen.”  And the decision won’t be made solely by Pettine.

“It’ll be a group of us,” Pettine said.  “It’ll be [quarterbacks coach] Dowell [Loggains], [offensive coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan]. We might involve [General Manager] Ray [Farmer] just to kind of listen and observe.  There might be another guy or two in there.”

Oh, there will be another guy in there.  And while he may not state a preference between Hoyer or Manziel, the owner of the team — Jimmy Haslam — won’t need to.  He will have made his preference known through advance discussions with Pettine, Farmer, and possibly others.

That’s one of the privileges of being the Boss.  The Boss doesn’t have to say what he wants.  The people who spend time with the Boss know.

Pettine naturally downplayed the possibility of Haslam influencing the decision.  Again, one of the privileges of being the Boss is not having to play the “Boss” card.  They’ll know who Haslam prefers; they probably already do.  And if they don’t do what they think he wants, they’d better hope it works.

Of course, they’ll always have a chance to change it.  While the leash won’t be a short one, Pettine made it clear that the starter will be wearing one.

“I don’t want whoever the starter is to feel like, ‘Oh, if I make one mistake I’m out.’” Pettine said.  “I also don’t want him to feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve achieved something.  This is my team for the year.’”

It will be the starter’s team for at least a week.  If he can survive Pittsburgh.

71 responses to “Committee to decide Browns’ starter on Tuesday

  1. Other committee members will include the homeless draft expert who wanted Manziel, and a passing horse that leans in the window and nibbles on the ficus during deliberations.

  2. When you ask a committee to build you a horse, the committee will give you a camel.

    Just sayin’

  3. Does it matter?
    Hoyer had a drive ending beautiful deep out dropped at the 9 by Austin, and had anther drive ending pass dropped inside the 5 by Gray

    As long as the Browns lead the league in drops no QB will excel.

  4. By survive do you mean be able to withstand the ferocious Pittsburgh defense that was 25th in sacks and 29th in interceptions last season? I think whoever is at QB will do fine and if Pittsburgh wins it won’t be because of their terrifying defense.

  5. vancouversportsbro says: Aug 15, 2014 4:56 PM

    If there was a mount rushmore of NFL QBs it would be:

    1. Montana
    2. Manning
    3. Marino


    1) Grahamn
    2) Unitas
    3) Montana

  6. The Steelers aren’t the Steelers they used to be. Not sure why they’re still feared.

  7. “If there was a mount rushmore of NFL QBs it would be: Montana, Manning, Marino, Johnny Football.”
    That was truly hilarious! If there was a mount rushmore of NFL QBs it would be Montana, Manning, I’d go with Brady instead of Marino, and Unitas would be up there too.

    Johnny Football would be lucky to even get a campsite in the nearest campground to that mount rushmore. Warren Moon would be a better candidate for QB Rushmore!

  8. The only way Johnny Manziel won’t be named starter is if he is on IR…which will come in Week 3 after the regular season. Not fair, and not earned, but the way it is.

  9. OMG the head coach is going to listen to the input of the people he hired and who are far more experienced when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks!?

    OMG he is going to listen to the people who get to watch him on a snap by snap basis during practice and spend the most time in the QB room!?

    OMG this makes him a bad leader!! I’m sure no other coach in the league listens to a word from the men he hired.

    (sarcasm for you who seem to have a hard time grasping common sense)

  10. I’m sorry…who cares it’s the Browns,it’s pre-season,it’s all so stupid….winning owners don’t tell there coach who to play!

  11. Really weird, but so far it’s a draw, and it will be decided in an old fashioned spelling bee, fair and square.

    Coach P: “Johnny, spell, “CAT”.
    Johnny: “Uh, okay….let’s see, uh….C….A….T”.
    Coach P: Wow, that’s absolutely correct. Brian, your turn. For the starting job, I need you to spell “FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION.”

    It’s just not fair.

  12. Some of these owners. You hire people, pay them millions of dollars then make decisions about what you know little to nothing about. Outrageous.

  13. vancouversportsbro says:
    Aug 15, 2014 4:56 PM
    If there was a mount rushmore of NFL QBs it would be:

    1. Montana
    2. Manning
    3. Marino
    4. Johnny Football

    10 26
    Report comment


    TEN thumbs up!

    real men of genius on here I see

  14. Manziel will be the starter we all know that. There’s only about 3 coaches in the NFL with the respect and self confidence to go against internet hype and a new owner’s childish impatience. Pettine is absolutely not one of the three.

    Pettine should just admit that it’s not in any way up to him, and stop talking about it. Otherwise he’s just highlighting the fact that he took a job to be the emasculated fall guy to cover for Haslam’s ineptitude.

  15. I love when the Steelers are under estimated. They will destroy either qb. The Steelers may only be average (I think they will be far better sweeping the division), but average beats miserable every time. It is the browns we are talking about here.

  16. Same as the Deadskins on who deserves to play. Manziel will get the call because the owner wants him to play. Cousins is outplaying RGnoknees but the owner will fire Gruden if his poster boy doesn’t play.

  17. Calling Jimmy Haslam “The Boss” is an insult to the memory of George Steinbrenner.

  18. Let me translate this story:

    The coaching staff and the people who are watching every play in practice and have the best grasp of what’s actually going on want Hoyer to start, but one of the “other couple guys” in the room will be Haslam, who doesn’t want to be embarrassed about his first big pick and will thus order that Manziel starts.

  19. Opening day will be a Steelers Linebackers party with Johnny Footloose (ouch, welcome to the pros and the AFC North).

  20. Ultimately, a committee of one -Haslam -will tell em to play Manziel.

    Look, pettine was unqualified for this job, and the team so desperate for anyone to take the hc job, that maybe they deserve each other.

  21. Weak coach. Owner made decision a long time ago when he drafted him. Hoyer can play AWESOME and Manziel will still be starting QB. All this is hype and attention from organization. Feel pity for them. Oh and Manziel is one immature version of Tebow. At least Tebow had class.

  22. Johnny Football will be smart and defer to Hoyer. After Hoyer gets the beating of his life by the Steelers, Manziel will be free from pressure to excel since it will have been established beyond all doubt that there is no offensive line in Cleveland.

    The blame for no professional offensive line goes to the front office and to the coaching staff for being unable to develop any decent offensive linemen from the players on the roster.

  23. Feel good about the qb situation Cleveland because you could be like Minnesota in that Bridgewater got retaken in the depth chart by Ponder due to bad performances and not smart enough to pick up the system.

  24. You mean the offensive line with 2 pro bowlers on it?

    Oh and we need just one more “Homeless guy” reference because that’s just too funny.

  25. Well let’s hope the homeless guy and Haslam overrule the idiot head coach that wants Hoyer to start.

    Let me remind everyone Hoyer threw 3 INTs against the horrible Minnesota Vikings defense and was undrafted and when he left the game against Buffalo, who is awful, the Browns were down 10-0 until Weeden saved the night.

    Johnny is 10x better than Hoyer.

  26. Let’s get it over with. Haslam wants Johnny. So play him right away whether he’s ready or not.

  27. The Browns hierarchy is determined to unseat the New York Jets as the NFL’s #1 clown organization.

  28. Here’s the one thing people forget about the current Cleveland Browns team (Specifically the offense). Neither guy needs to be Payton Manning for that team to win games. The Jason Campbell to Josh Gordon connection has back to back record setting games and the team looses. Bryan Hoyer plays ok for two games dinking and dunking and using his legs and the team wins (something they found out totally by accident).

    The thing that they were missing with their other QB’s that they were getting with Hoyer was a SMART qb. The guy might have thrown 3 picks in Minnesota but also lead the team to 3 TD’s in that same game which mean a lot more (especially since at least 2 of those picks hit their intended receiver). Even last week both QB’s consistantly got the team to the red zone and in a real game situation the running backs probably would have been relied on to finish the job instead of forced throws.

    In other other words as long as neither guy is turning the ball over and play like they did last week the team should be fine either way when games count. Now Tyler Thigpin on the other hand played like he’s never been on an NFL field in his life. You would have thought he was the 21 year old rookie and not Manziel.

  29. So funny- all these people talking like the Steelers are just going to steamroll their way over the Browns or any other team… You realize this is 2014, right? No one fears the Steelers anymore. They’re old, slow, and their offense looked like crap last year. It’s over.

    Jeez, I hope we don’t face have to face the Bears with their super bowl shufflin’ defense or the Redskins with their mighty “hogs” offensive line or… Oh wait, all that stuff was years ago, too.

    Other teams fear the current Steelers about as much as they feared the mid/late 80s Steelers (sucked) or the Steelers for the 40 years of their existence (record setting loserdom.)

  30. I feel sorry for Browns fans (and I’m a Dolphin fan. How sad is it that I feel bad for you).

  31. Pettine as “Han Solo: No time to discuss this as a committee.”
    Haslam as “Princess Leia: I am not a committee! “

  32. It’s crazy how self important everyone involved with this franchise is now. Pettine is soaking it up and loving it. Center of attention. ESPN cameras at every practice. Just keep feeding them that “undecided” crap, and they’ll keep coming.

    Sadly, just a few more weeks before everyone remembers you’re the Browns.

  33. Sounds like a coach above his head to me. I don’t care if you get opinions from other people, but you don’t make it a group decision. One guy is in charge, that guy has to make the call. Period. If you make the wrong call, you recognize that and adjust. But it is still your call

  34. I get the whole “if he can survive Pittsburgh” thing. They will be fighting it out all year for 3rd place in the division

  35. Our military collects intelligence and has a chain-of-command, and orders are passed down.

    Congress has no intelligence but committee after committee, and nothing gets passed down, up or even to the side.

    What would Paul Brown do???

  36. It doesn’t matter. NEITHER are a starting QB in this league, and will be drafting for Famous Jameis next year in the top 5..again. In the history of the league, has ANY team drafted a qb in the first round 3 consecutive years? Smh, lames. And im from NE Ohio! 🙁

  37. Ha, there might be another guy in there. Uh yeah the damn meddlesome owner. I start to get more and more respect for Parcells every time a coach cowers to the owner on personnel decisions.

  38. clebrowns216 you made good points but you excluded the reason the owner has a say on personnel decisions unless Manziel is a truck stop worker I don’t see why.

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