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Cleveland Browns name Brian Hoyer starter over Johnny Manziel

Hoyer and Manziel warming up
Hoyer and Manziel warming up
Photo by TJ Root/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have decided to go with Brian Hoyer as the No. 1 quarterback entering the 2014 season opener. On Wednesday, the team announced their decision after careful consideration, and their belief is that Hoyer gives the Browns the best chance to win.

According to NFL.com, coach Mike Pettine stated that Brian Hoyer was the “clear leader from the beginning.” However, in the past couple weeks, the quarterback competition became close, so it wasn’t an easy decision for the first year coach.

Coach also stated that he would like to go with the more experienced player. Despite only starting a handful of games in the NFL, it’s clear that Brian Hoyer is more ready to play. Hoyer was (3-0) as a starter for Cleveland in 2013.

With the decision to leave Johnny Manziel on the bench to start the season, the onus will be on Brian Hoyer to keep him there. If the Browns get off to a solid start, it will be difficult to bring the rookie off the bench. Although, stranger things have happened during NFL seasons.

Johnny Manziel will remain the No. 2 quarterback, so he will be one play away from the field. In spite of his uneven play in Monday night’s preseason game, much of the focus was on Manziel’s hand gesture towards the Washington sideline. There’s no question that the Cleveland Browns organization and players were disturbed by his actions on the field.

That gesture could have been the deciding factor in making Hoyer the starter on Wednesday. The day after the game, it was widely thought that Coach Pettine would hold off on naming the starter, but it seems that he had a change of heart.

Another factor in naming Brian Hoyer as the starter is that he can finally get all the reps with the first team going into the third preseason game. This week is largely known as the dress rehearsal for the NFL season.

In addition, one must wonder if Coach Pettine second guessed his decision to platoon the quarterbacks against Washington. That format clearly did not work on Monday.

The Cleveland Browns open the season at the Pittsburgh Steelers.