Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine named Brian Hoyer their starter after two preseason games, then watched as Hoyer twisted in the wind when the team visited the St. Louis Rams for their third exhibition game. Is Pettine now feeling some remorse for having made his decision so early in the preseason? The coach dismissed such talk, though he did warrant that the team needs more from Hoyer.
“Brian had his plays,” Pettine said per the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “He knows what he needs to work on. We need to play better around him. I think that’s important. I mentioned that last night. Sometimes the quarterback gets held accountable. He’s out there with 10 other guys and they need to be functioning as a unit, fully functional.”
Brian Hoyer played into the third quarter of Saturday’s 33-14 loss to the Rams, completing 10-of-16 passes for 84 yards, with one touchdown and one interception (returned for a touchdown) for a 70.8 rating. Those are hardly the numbers the team envisioned for Hoyer when they tabbed him the starter over rookie Johnny Manziel. That’s especially when you consider that Hoyer’s lone touchdown came against the Rams backups on a drive that started on the St. Louis 37 yard line.
“There’s no sugarcoating it,” Pettine said. “We didn’t play well.”
The Browns can turn around quickly and forget about their performance when they play their final preseason game on Thursday. They open the regular season at Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.