Berea, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine announced that Brian Hoyer will be the starting quarterback heading into training, saying he’s “securely ahead” on the depth chart over rookie playmaker Johnny Manziel.
However, Pettine said Manziel could show some flashes of brilliance in training camp and could close the gap.
“I don’t think it’s insurmountable,” Pettine said on the final day of Browns minicamp. “I think that Brian is securely ahead of him right now, but we will compete and we will decide.”
While claiming that he’s not comparing, Pettine said Hoyer’s experience with the team and in the league give him an edge right now.
“The rookies haven’t been here very long,” Pettine said. “They’re playing catch-up from a playbook standpoint. At this point, we really weren’t keeping score. We’ll be much more apt to do that when we get to training camp.”
Manziel will get reps with the first team to ensure there is a true competition, and probably will get preseason playing time with the starters at some point.
“If a guy has a chance to be a starter, I would think you’d want to expose him to a starting defense,” Pettine said.
Hoyer has looked better during the practices, with Manziel still inconsistent. But Manziel has not been able to play with pads on and go full speed the way he will in training camp. At that time, his “Johnny Football” persona could be better displayed.