The quarterback competition that has captured the media over the past few weeks will to come to an end on Tuesday when Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine is expected to name the starter.
“That should be the target date,” Pettine said, according to SI.com. “Something unforeseen could come up, but we’re hopeful. I want to see if I can cut the quarterback questions down by 90 percent after next week – and the chemistry, continuity, it’s important to establish that.”
Tuesday may sound like a random day during the week to announce the decision, but it actually makes sense considering the Browns’ second preseason game will come against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Therefore, that game will be the last chance for rookie Johnny Manziel and veteran Brian Hoyer to show Pettine what they are capable of accomplishing. Whichever quarterback can lead the offense on a scoring drive is probably the one who will start Week 1.
But, just because Manziel or Hoyer is named the starter for Week 1 does not mean they have the job permanently. In fact, whoever has the job out of the gate will be on a very short leash. That means they will have to consistently prove they deserve to be in the starting lineup.
“Quarterback is different from other positions, in that you do want to make a commitment,” Pettine said. “(But) I don’t know if you can necessarily make a permanent commitment. So much can change over the course of an NFL season, the circumstances.
“I don’t want whoever the starter is to feel like, ‘oh, if I make one mistake, I’m out.’ but I also don’t want him to feel like, ‘hey, I’ve achieved something, this is my team for the year.”
In all honesty, would anyone expect anything else from the Browns?
Pettine makes a confident statement by saying he will name a quarterback prior to the third preseason game. It makes sense because that person, whoever it may be, will have to get quality reps with the starting offense before the regular season kicks off in three weeks. But then he goes ahead and basically gives that person zero lack of confidence.
Every player is expendable. If someone does not perform, he is going to get benched. That is simply the nature of the game. Manziel and Hoyer are both perfectly aware of that. Therefore, there is no point in Pettine publicly stating that fact. It makes him look inexperienced.
The assumption is that Hoyer will get the job. However, Manziel has performed well enough in the preseason and training camp to be named the starter. It will all come down to Monday night.