NFL: Cleveland Browns opt to go with Brian Hoyer - not Johnny Manziel - as starting QB
Last Updated: 20/08/14 5:15pm
Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine has confirmed that Brian Hoyer, not rookie Johnny Manziel, will be his starting quarterback for the new NFL season.
Hoyer has got the nod for the job despite completing just two of his six pass attempts for 16 yards in the pre-season game against the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his team-mates on the practice field and in the locker room.
However the 28-year-old - an undrafted free agent who was signed by the New England Patriots in 2009 and spent three seasons in Boston before being cut - had been first choice under centre at the start of training camp.
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine, who set to embark on his first season in charge of the Browns, having previously been offensive coordinator in Buffalo, told the team's official website.
“We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his team-mates on the practice field and in the locker room.
“I think Brian’s been very poised. I think he’s handled the situation well. He’s had a lot of things going on."
Hoyer has made just four starts in an NFL career that has also included stops in Pittsburgh and Arizona. The last of those came for Cleveland against the Buffalo Bills last October, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Manziel, meanwhile, was taken with the 22nd pick in this year's draft after the Browns traded up to the former Texas A&M quarterback who won the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 2012.
The 22-year-old - nicknamed 'Johnny Football' - completed seven of 16 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the Browns' 24-23 loss to Washington after taking over from Hoyer.
Manziel also had a moment of controversy when he appeared to raise his middle finger at the Redskins bench late in the third quarter.
“He’s certainly made great strides,” Pettine said of the man who will now be the back-up for the season opener at the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 7.
“We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”