The Cleveland Browns quarterback race between Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer is perhaps the most entertaining sublot in the weeks leading up to the 2014 NFL season.
However, even though head coach Mike Pettine will eventually name his Week 1 starter, don’t expect this situation to be fully resolved when the opening kickoff takes place. Pettine told Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland that it’s unlikely he will make a “permanent commitment” to either Manziel or Hoyer and the Week 1 starter might not necessarily start the whole season.
“I think quarterback is different from other positions, that you do want to make a commitment,” he said. “I don’t know if you can make a permanent commitment. So much can change over the course of an NFL season. But I think that’s the one position where you probably have to have a little more patience than some others. As far as if a guy’s not performing to the level you think he can and not getting the results, then you would go ahead and make a move. So it’s somewhere in between. I don’t want whoever the starter is to feel ‘if I make one mistake, I’m out.’ But I also don’t want him to feel like ‘I’ve achieved something, that this is my team for the year.’”
These type of comments might lead one to think Hoyer is ahead in the QB race because starting Manziel in Week 1 and then removing him mid-season probably wouldn’t go over too well with the fanbase. Manziel is going to start in 2014 one way or another, so perhaps Pettine is simply preparing Hoyer for the inevitable with these comments.
The Browns drafted Manziel with the No. 22 pick in this year’s draft out of Texas A&M. Hoyer appeared in three games with Cleveland last season, throwing for 615 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.