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Cleveland Browns decide on Brian Hoyer; Johnny Manziel not ready to lead

Quarterback Brian Hoyer #6 of the Cleveland Browns drops back to pass during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 18, 2014 in Landover, Maryland.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have decided on their starting quarterback on Wednesday morning. The team has decided to go with experience in selecting veteran Brian Hoyer as the teams quarterback in the season opener Sept. 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Browns first-round pick Johnny Manziel will have to wait.

Hoyer nor Manziel were impressive in an ugly quarterback battle, but some on the field antics by Manziel in the team’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins may have helped Browns head coach Mike Pettine make a decision. There may have also been a question about Manziel’s maturity level as he flipped the middle finger at the Redskins’ sideline after a play. That one incident alone didn’t clinch the decision, but perhaps made it clear that Johnny Football just isn’t ready yet.

In a statement, Pettine said, “He was the clear leader from the beginning. We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.

Hoyer, a former backup quarterback to Tom Brady in New England, started three games for the Browns last season before he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in October. Hoyer was impressive and led the team to a 3-0 record while he was the starting quarterback. His play hasn’t been great so far this offseason, but the Browns are banking on his experience and leadership.

Manziel, on the other hand, is the flash player fans want to see. But flash alone doesn’t make a starting NFL quarterback. Pettine complimented the strides Manziel has made, but his time just isn’t right now. The coach continued, “We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”

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