Jun 12, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) during minicamp at Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Pettine: Brian Hoyer is Securely Ahead in QB Competition

Johnny Manziel might be at the top of every Google search, every national media members interview list and many young women’s wish list. He is not however on top of the Cleveland Browns depth chart coming out of mini camp and going into training camp:

This shouldn’t be surprising as Brian Hoyer has had experience in a number of systems, had time with Kyle Shanahan before the draft and showed great progress last year. It shouldn’t be a surprise since Mike Pettine stated before the draft that it would be tough for a rookie QB to start his right away, and that he preferred not to start a rookie.

Manziel also has a huge amount of transitions to make in the NFL. At Texas A&M he spent most of his time out of the shotgun in a spread system. While he made great plays with his feet after plays broke down, he also struggled hitting his first read and has no experience in a timing pattern system.

The best case scenario for the Browns is Drew Brees and Philip Rivers with the San Diego Chargers. Brees was the starter when Rivers was drafted but kept Rivers on the bench with his play. That later led Brees to Franchise Tagged before the Chargers gave way to Rivers. Both have shown the ability to carry their teams since that time. Hoyer is in the last year of his contract and if he has a stellar season would most likely be franchised either to keep him around for another season or to test his trade market for him.

Manziel could use a year to develop and learn the NFL speed while Hoyer helps the team succeed. The worst case scenario is Hoyer either struggling or getting injured turning it over to an unprepared Manziel. Many QBs struggle in their first season but some are unable to come back from a bad first year.

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