The Cleveland Browns QB competition has been the talk of the media, both locally and nationally. The QB competition seemed to be Brian Hoyer‘s to lose. While he hasn’t set the world on fire, he is now in a dogfight with rookie mega-star Johnny Manziel. For his part Manziel hasn’t been significantly better than most expected either yet has shown enough to make the QB competition more of a toss up than a foregone conclusion.
That leads to the big change for the Browns second Pre-Season game against Washington. According to Mary Kay Cabot, Head Coach Mike Pettine has stated that Hoyer and Manziel will get equal time with the first team:
While it is important not to read too much into this, Pettine has also stated in the past that any player will have to earn whatever he gets. Specifically he stated that the starting QB spot, even in Pre-Season, was earned not given (Feel like LeBron James made this cool to use again as it is all over the place right now). That Pettine would make this proclamation means that Manziel has earned something.
In his first real live action Manziel showed a strong arm, something many were worried he didn’t have, accuracy and the ability to get out of the pocket. He didn’t show the progression, timing and decision making that were the biggest concerns coming out of the spread system in college. Has Pettine and Kyle Shanahan seen enough of that in practice to make this move? Or is this move to give equal ground for each QB to show his stuff? Does this change, along with the signing of Rex Grossman, light a fire under Hoyer?
A ton of questions to be answered for sure. Pettine has stated he would like to name the starter for the season before the 3rd Pre-Season game, which is generally a dress rehearsal for the season. Washington’s defense and playing with the first team will give Manziel every opportunity to make his case. Hoyer will have the same chance as well.
It is likely that Hoyer makes solid plays, like he did against the Lions, while Manziel makes a few electric ones. The coaches are likely looking for Manziel’s in pocket development, progression and timing more than the actual results of the plays. Who will get the chance to start the rough 3 game stretch the Browns start with? We might know the results of the QB competition Tuesday morning.
What do you make of this news?