Hoyer still looks like the favorite as Pettine ponders Week 1 QB


Prior to Monday night’s preseason game, Brian Hoyer was the favorite to win his competition with Johnny Manziel to open the season as the Browns’ starting quarterback. After the game, coach Mike Pettine’s comments suggested that Hoyer is still the favorite.

Pettine insisted that all options are on the table, but the combination of Pettine’s anger at Manziel for flipping the bird on the field and Pettine’s insistence that the Week One starter will be the quarterback who gives the Browns the best chance to win in Week One seem to point to Hoyer.

“Whoever gives us the best chance to win the opener will be the starter,” Pettine said. “Somebody has to be ready for the opener.”

Although the Browns drafted Manziel to be the long-term answer at quarterback, throughout the offseason Hoyer has been running the first-team offense. If Pettine thought Manziel gave the Browns the best chance to win their Week One game against the Steelers, then Manziel would have been running with the ones by now. The safer choice is the veteran, and Pettine sounds like he wants to go with the safer choice.

On Monday night in Washington, neither quarterback looked like he’d give the Browns a very good chance of beating the Steelers. Hoyer went 2-for-6 for 16 yards, while Manziel went 7-for-16 for 65 yards. But like Pettine said, somebody has to be ready. And it looks like that somebody is Hoyer.

83 responses to “Hoyer still looks like the favorite as Pettine ponders Week 1 QB

  1. Looks like the Spurrier boys (Shaw & Grossman) should be rolling with the first team going forward.

  2. Not much point in letting your franchise QB get killed behind that porous offensive line. Let Hoyer take the beating until the line gels.

    It’s not like the Browns were making the playoffs this year anyway without any wide receivers.

  3. Maybe Coach Pettine will be a little more cautious when interviewing for his NEXT head coaching job. This organization had all of the warnings, both on and off the field, that this kid was mediocre AND a loose cannon. But they had to please the homeless in Cleveland, and draft him anyway. Don’t worry Coach, they couldn’t fire you after 1 season, could they?

  4. Hey coach, take a hint from last night’s game.

    Last night, there was only Browns QB who played like he had command of the offense. His passes were crisp and on target both when he was throwing from the pocket and when he was on the run. He moved the offense very well on both drives that he led. Yeah, he’s a rookie, but in his final collegiate season, he had a 24-1 TD/Int ratio. He’s a natural leader who only attracts attention with his play on the field.

    His name is Connor Shaw, and he outplayed both Hoyer and Manziel last night. If he does it again next Saturday, you have your new starting QB (if of course you’re more interesting in winning games and saving the GM’s face).

  5. Monday night was chaos for the Browns. Alternating QB’s with opposite styles, throwing to a receiver who will not be there in Sept is a strange way to prepare for the season. The management problem is obvious, even with new coaches. Brown’s fans are invited to follow the Steelers, a team that will reward their dedication to NFL football at it’s best.

  6. Last night was just plain tough to watch. Hoyer, Manziel, RGIII and Cousins all sucked. Connor Shaw did not play great either, unless you consider the Hail Mary to be a successful staple in your offensive scheme.

  7. Clearly Manziel is the guy. Heck he got 4ypa on 16 throws. Why he’s not way ahead of Hoyer, who knows?

    65 yards … Connor who? So CLE is not worried about Johnny’s behavior with his salute?

  8. If Manziel tells the press he gave the Redskins the bird due to their name, he’d be hailed as a hero.

  9. bubbybrisket says:
    Aug 19, 2014 9:45 AM
    It boggles the mind how there are a few people that have no problem with Manzy flipping the bird.
    Why? He flipped off the other teams bench. That will earn him some respect from most football fans.

    Now if he had flipped off the fans in the stands or the ref that would be another story but he didn’t.

  10. I love how we judge every QB based on their last performance. The alternating QB plan failed miserably. It’s no wonder that the QB’s struggled. Conner Shaw looked good. But has been practicing with those receivers consistently. They were on the same page. The Browns have been constantly switching reps with the ones and twos. They need to name the starter to get everyone on the same page and quit switching reps. I don’t think we can hide Connor Shaw on our practice squad now. Hopefully he gets a roster spot. If we can’t resign Hoyer to be backup, I wouldn’t mind having Shaw as a backup, or if he develops, a starter. If you factor out the hail mary pass, Shaw still looked very capable.

  11. Hoyer clearly was the worst of the two and if you are seriously rooting for that connor kid you are delusional. He would get creamed playing with ones. Not to mention that Hail Mary was luck and he had far fewer drops than the two starters.

  12. @ncphinsfan

    Considering Shaw was playing with 3rd/4th stringers, I’ll give him the beneift of the doubt. He also “outplayed” the other QB’s on the depth chart, and it wasn’t even close. Cousins had a great drive to start the 3rd and Colt McCoy bounced back from the interception nicely. I mean, are we supposed to be expecting 300+ and 65% completions with 4 TD’s from these guys? It’s pre-season…

  13. Does it matter? They only have 6 winnable games on their schedule anyway…


    And thats IF things go right.

  14. Browns D will win them a few games. That goal line stand was nice! QB should be Hoyer, he had a rough night but he’s usually poised. How can he really be judged on the 6 passes from last night? Manziel needs to be brought along like Kaepernick & not start till year 2. The Shanahan system looks confusing & he’s obviously not ready to take the reigns!

  15. I agree 100% with Hoyer being the starter. Cleveland has no one to throw the ball to past Jordan Cameron (at least for 8 games), and their O-line has been abysmal. If the coaching staff sends Johnny out there under those circumstances, they’ll turn him into the next Blaine Gabbert/David Carr. Send the no-upside veteran whom you have no intentions of keeping on the roster long-term out there to get killed this season.

  16. I don’t care what string defense he played against, Shaw looked more comfortable and more polished than both these slouches. The kid played with a purpose and commanded the offense in a way I didn’t see from any of the others in either preseason game

  17. It was a silly experiment going two series at a time between the two. Neither guy had a chance to get in any type of flow. The Browns defense did look good however. The new calls for defensive holding this year are absurd though. Both teams benefited from flags all night. Is this what the NFL is going to look like for now on? Flags for covering a receiver?

  18. I have to record SC so I can fast-forward through the 20-30 minutes of Manziel coverage EVERY DAY! It’s Tebow 2.0. Enough already.

  19. everyone balked at Manziel looking good last week against the two’s and now Shaw is being lauded as the starter after playing well against threes? seriously?

  20. thenew013 says:
    Aug 19, 2014 10:14 AM
    if you are seriously rooting for that connor kid you are delusional. He would get creamed playing with ones. Not to mention that Hail Mary was luck and he had far fewer drops than the two starters.


    I said this shortly after Shaw was signed as a free agent QB, and I’ll say it again: If the Browns are smart, by the end of the 2015 season, Connor Shaw will be their starting QB. He will outplay Manziel.

  21. Am i mistaken? or did Connor Shaw go up against the 2nd team defense?

    Also Johnny didn’t like that pressure he was gettin from a top 10 d-line.

    Go Redskins!!!


    Thank You God for not making me a Cleveland Browns fan.


  23. I’m not a browns fan but how does the head coach think hoyer is the starter? he is absolutely horrible might as well start little john let him take his lumps. the future is with him. not the guy coming off a shredded knee. However we are talking about the browns and of course they will do the opposite of what the right move should be. Browns being well brown.

  24. Cut Hoyer today, he’s a waste of time. Bench Manziel for flipping off the Skins and use it as an excuse to start Shaw this week. Shaw threw 25 Tds to 1 INT last year and was 17-0 at home during his collegiate career. If he was 6’5″ he’d have been the first pick of the draft. If Browns management has any courage they’ll start Shaw this week.

  25. What did I get out of last nights game? I got that this was another game I didn’t see. More and more households have dropped cable, and the NFL puts more and more games on Cable. It’s like Grandpa is controlling their programming. Keep it up Rodger, you’re blocking football from the next generation, Fool.

  26. Gee, and the Vikings’ Bridgewater, tiny hands and all, only went 16 for 20, racked up 177 yards and 2 TDs. Oh, and he led an 83 yard drive with 18 seconds left for the winning TD. His QB rating was a measly 136.9.

    I sure wish the Vikings would have drafted Johnnie. *eye-roll*

  27. Hoyer should start, Shaw should be 2nd, and get some looks at the 1st team. At this point, that’s what they got. Manziel’s performance has been far worse then his bad numbers.

    Johnny Football has been awful. What I forgot to mention in my last post, was not only does he only have 128 yards on 27 passes, but alot of that 128 yards was YAC. Good plays by receivers skew his passing numbers to look less worse then it should, given the type of passes he’s throwing.

    His average pass completion is probably around 4-5 yards before YAC. That’s just not going to cut it in the NFL. Let the Matt Leinart comparisons continue, as he too was a party champion off the field, but Captain Checkdown on the field.

    Eventually NFL defenses will start shifting because they realize Manziel is throwing short and doesn’t even see the long, and that’s where the fun for the defenses will begin. People are already jumping the receiver’s routes, and Manziel is lucky he didn’t get an INT or two yesterday.

    Shaw showed he can throw downfield and he isn’t telling the opposing teams via hand gestures that he’s the #1 QB.

    Hoyer also isn’t the answer. Mediocre is his absolute ceiling, and he’s just not going to be that on a regular basis, nor when the offense has other problems. He can run an offense though, which is something Manziel has no clue about.

    Having seen Hoyer start, he isn’t horrible. He has the aura of a QB who knows what he’s doing most of the time. Has poise, patience, etc. But he just doesn’t have it.

    So the Browns should take that into account. It’s not that Johnny Manziel can’t beat out a strong veteran QB… it’s Johnny Manziel who can’t beat out a guy who should be a backup QB, and that that backup QB is heads and tails above Manziel is quite a number of factors.

    Johnny Manziel also doesn’t have the tools to run in the NFL. Even Peyton Manning can run for 15 yards if the defense gives it to him. But on a regular basis, Manziel is just way, way too slow to run, and too small to take a hit.

    He makes bad decisions, can’t handle pressure, and while he can get somewhat better at some of this over time, he just doesn’t have the physical tools to be a long term answer at QB, and even in the short term, he’ll never be a good one.

    We’ll see what happens, and if somehow he can overcome all these deficiencies over the next couple of years, but like most other young QB’s in the NFL that come and go every few years, he probably won’t.

  28. Browns will be hard pressed to win 4 games this season. Between a tough AFCN and a suspension for their Star, where do you see them winning? Everybody is saying how the Bills will be gifting Cleveland a higher pick than theirs, except Buffalo’s only hole is behind center, Cleveland has that and then some. And I think right about now the Browns would rather have EJ over anybody they have on their roster.

  29. Brown need to pick a (one) QB and get him in synch with their first team.
    They looked like straight up scrubs (on offense anyway) last night.
    Not a Browns fan BTW.

  30. Word on the street is that Nance and Simms are calling the Cleveland/Pitt game week 1. Tell me why the hell they wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for NFL Jesus starting QB for the Browns. Money is everything in the NFL, seriously, so I’m sure there’s something CBS knows.

  31. I love how people are judging Hoyer and Manziel the same way, as far as that game last night.

    Hoyer was in for two very short series, threw a total of 6 passes, at least 2 or 3 of which hit the receiver and were just plain dropped. Just like last week.

    Both QBs are going to look like they suck if these damn receivers can’t catch a damn ball.

    The point is that Hoyer was in for a blip and Manziel was in for most of he game. Hoyer never had a chance to warm up— and Manziel had a chance to warm up and never did.

  32. Its more than just Manziels lousy play to worry about. In his interview with Gruden he had a hard time even naming a play. Manziel clearly has no grasp of his teams Playbook. He just sounds dumb. But that’s right, it’s no big deal that he goes to Vegas in his free time. If you’re a first round pick, getting paid millions, and you play that bad, you shouldn’t get free time.

  33. Ponder no longer. JF is the QB Cleveland has been searching for since Brian Sipe retired. He is the answer the Browns seek.

    Mike, Just Do It

  34. Aggie fan here.

    Manziel needs to sit….and I mean sit until he matures. At this point, he will never be a franchise QB until he becomes a leader…which he obviously isn’t.

    Sit him until they play the Jaguars to see if it helps…if not, leave him on the bench.

  35. Last night was just plain tough to watch. Hoyer, Manziel, RGIII and Cousins all sucked.
    what game did you watch!!?? Hoyer stunk and so did Manziel, but i thought RG3 and Cousins both got a B- for their games!!! RG3 drove the Redskins to Field goal range not once but TWICE and had a drive going until Morris fumbled. the only downside to both Cousins and RG3 was the bad picks they threw, but Cousins score a TD while RG3 put the Redskins in position to score a TD!! the only reasons RG3 didnt get a TD was bad play calling where they ran Morris 3 times in a row and got nothing. they should’ve gave it to the fullback Young on 3rd and he likely would’ve scored.

    as for starting Shaw or GROSSman, i wouldnt do that. sure Shaw played well, but it was against 3rd teamers while Grossman is just that.

  36. Looking back, it sure seems the Grossman signing was a panic move by the Browns because they know both Hoyer and Manziel are awful right now and maybe they will be for some time. If he’s not starting soon, I won’t be surprised if Grossman is the first option off the bench whoever is the starter. Make no mistake, Grossman is going to see a lot of playing time in Cleveland.

  37. First of all, alternating QBs was stunningly stupid on Pettine’s part. We all knew that was dumb before he even did it. That probably speaks volumes about Pettine’s coaching abilities, or lack thereof.
    Secondly, Pettine should play Manziel the entire first half of the 3rd preseason game. Let’s see what he can do without interruption. If he still stinks, fine. Start Hoyer against the Steelers. But if Manziel plays well, start him against the Steelers. Not complicated. Pretty simple.

  38. Manziel had to take that starting spot away from Hoyer which he failed to do. It was close and Manziel wasn’t bad but he must go with Hoyer.

    Later in the season I’m not surprised to see Manziel put in as the savior of the season role.

  39. Back when Romero Crenell was head coach he said that he might flip a coin to see who would be starting QB. Things haven’t changed much in Cleveland.

    Now Pettine is screwing this team up by rotating QBs so that nobody will be ready.

    I watched the game last night and found out that Manziel has to learn to work with a huddle and a complicated play book, neither has he had before. And his coach thinks he has a chance to open the season in two weeks against the Steelers?

  40. What in the world were Pettine & Shanahan doing? It looked like neither had a clue and were just “trying stuff.”

    Do the Browns even have a WR coach? Is it Eddie Braylon?

    I’m a life-long suffering Browns fan (60+ yrs) but this “new Browns” just can’t get it together, even after 15 frickin’ years! Hell, even the London Jaguars look better.

  41. One advantage of the QB controversy for the Browns organization is it takes attention away from Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Because, trust me, you’ll eventually come to hate it and will fault Kyle more for the offense’s struggles than whoever the QB ends up being. And if Kyle reverts to past form and starts going at with his QBs in the press that’ll just be gravy.

  42. Browns fan here, Looks like the same ol’ browns to me. What the hell. lol I found myself saying the same thing as past years. What do they do at practice? Do they even watch other games and say the same thing I say. If they can score TD’s then why can’t we, why don’t we run some of those plays the other teams run that makes them score TD’s. We are professional football players to aren’t we. We should be able to run plays like them other teams that score a bunch of TD’s shouldn’t we.
    Why coach why can’t we score any TD’s? Shouldn’t we practice doing that. Pitiful again on Monday night football. Oh well on to next week. And i’d say as of now for qb. I was really looking forward to watching Hoyer but after these 2 games now idk. I’d have to say Manziel just because he’d be more fun to watch if we’re gonna lose anyway it might as well be as entertaining .

  43. And seemingly endlessly the media keeps us wanting to care about the Cleveland Browns qb. I don’t care.
    I don’t care if some adolescent is trying to prove he belongs in the NFL. There have been many before him, and many after him. The Browns are a third-rate franchise whose fervent fans are far more loyal to the rot that runs the franchise than the owners deserve. The fans are great, the owners stink. They have run a proud franchise into the ground then expect me to care if some punk with a drinking problem is supposed to be the next savior. Or if the job should go to a guy who might be at best a backup in the CFL. Manziel is a zero. Hoyer is a zero and the owners are a zeros. Too bad for the fans they are stuck with this nonsense and to hell with the media who keep trying(like they did with Tebow) to make a jerk into something special.

  44. Make no mistake, Grossman is going to see a lot of playing time in Cleveland.
    i doubt that. i cant see Pettine being that stupid. it’s either Hoyer or Manziel. Grossman is there to be a teacher to Manziel and Hoyer since he knows the offense.

  45. Ok, let’s review…

    Last week everyone’s excuse for Manziel was that he was playing with the two’s.

    So this week he plays with the ones and looked dismal… haha… my phone just tried to auto correct to Johnny Dismal lol…

    So by everyone’s comments the logical conclusion should be that whoever plays with the threes should be exponential worse..

    In reality and by contrast, Connor Shaw played with the threes Monday and out performed both quarter backs in the “competition”…

    8 of 9 for 123 yards and a touchdown…

    Sit then both and give Connor a day with the ones and let’s see what happens.

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