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.