The Cleveland Browns just wrapped up their day at camp and the most noticeable news is that Brian Hoyer, not Johnny Manziel, will start the first pre-season game. Mike Pettine noted as much following practice:
While this has been expected the amount of work Manziel has gotten with the first team, including all day today, raised some doubts. Hoyer hasn’t been excellent, including a couple fumbled snaps today that may or may not have been the fault of the backup center. Pettine noted that Hoyer hasn’t done anything to lead them to take the starting job for Saturday away from him:
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his performance. It seems as though Pettine was hoping Hoyer would take the job away versus just trying to hold on. Instead Hoyer seems to have shown little room for growth while Manziel has tons of learning and improving that he can do. Hoyer may be feeling the pressure as he was still on the field working on things when interviews were going on:
Hoyer’s times on the field, before this season, have all lacked any sort of pressure. There were not expectations on him and he was able to play free and easy. This camp is significantly different as the Browns are expecting him to start and want to be competitive in the AFC North. Could pressure be a struggle for Hoyer? Noted Fear the Sword Cavaliers writer/editor David Zavac had a thought back to Hoyer’s days at Michigan state:
Zavac has mentioned this before related to Hoyer and could be right. We will get an up close look Saturday night as he returns to the state of Michigan to face the Detroit Lions. Will the Lions defensive line cause havoc for him? Will Manziel get action with the first team? Will fans and media overreact to a couple big plays from Manziel while on the move/out of the pocket?
Time will tell but for now Hoyer gets the nod.
What do you think of Pettine’s decision?