After the Pre-Season game against the Detroit Lions many in the media reported that Johnny Manziel was either tied with or passed Brian Hoyer on the Cleveland Browns depth chart. Unfortunately for Manziel fans and the media it doesn’t seem Head Coach Mike Pettine got the memo. Hoyer started with the 1s during today’s Training Camp and is still ahead on the depth chart:
#Browns HC Pettine said Hoyer being with ones today reflects he's still ahead on depth chart.
— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 11, 2014
Pettine says he's not yet sure which QB will start Monday night in WAS. Said Manziel won't start just to start. "That needs to be earned."
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 11, 2014
The second tweet is based on the report that Manziel will start against the Washington Redskins. Pettine debunks that. Instead he says that starting, in any game, is something earned not just given. Many think Manziel should be given time in front of the offensive line and with the #1 offense but Pettine isn’t handing that over to Manziel.
Instead Hoyer has the upper hand and Manziel will have to take the job from him. While Manziel has had some solid practices, made a couple big plays in the scrimmage and first pre-season game and Hoyer hasn’t blown his opponent out of the water either. Yet the narrative coming out of the first live action would look so different if Miles Austin would of caught Hoyer’s deep pass and Josh Gordon pulls in the touchdown pass in the back of the endzone.
Pettine and Ray Farmer clearly have stated that they believe it would be tough for a rookie to start at QB in the NFL. Even the Browns first depth chart seemed to minimize rookies’ rolls on the team. With the complexities of reading NFL defenses, adjusting to the speed of the game and digesting the Kyle Shanahan playbook all may delay Manziel’s ability to get on the field.
Hoyer, while not spectacular, has the advantage of having read NFL defenses, up to game speed and have dealt with a number of NFL systems in his history. His quick reaction time, progressions and decision making will help him stand out versus Manziel, especially in practice. It will be tough for Manziel to beat him given all the benefits Hoyer has and Pettine’s mandate that they will play the player that will give them the best chance to win.
Are you surprised that Hoyer is still on top?