The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback battle between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel has become even more unclear.
Both QBs struggled for the most part in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins with poor throws and poor timing between them and their receivers. Head coach Mike Pettine must want to name a starter soon to avoid reps being split in the last few weeks before the regular season starts, but he may have to wait.
Hoyer came into Week 2 with a slight edge over Manziel, and should probably still have that edge. The downside for Hoyer was that he was unable to separate himself from the rookie, and really gave Manziel a chance to take the starting job. He did have receivers drop passes and fumble after making catches, but Hoyer also hurt himself by missing an easy throw on a post route in the red zone that should have been a touchdown.
Manziel didn’t play much better than Hoyer, but there was a bit of more life in the Browns’ offense with him in the game. Although they didn’t score points with him behind center on the first team, Manziel did have the longest drive between Hoyer and himself.
Like Hoyer, Manziel also missed throws, whether it was nerves or lack of time with the first team. With the second-team, Manziel was able to throw for a touchdown pass on a screen pass to Dion Lewis in the fourth quarter, and the offense did look at bit better overall, but still not eye-popping. Simply put, it wasn’t a wowing performance for Johnny Football.
One noticeable thing was that the Browns gave Manziel more chances and plays to impress than they did for Hoyer, as Manziel needs lots of reps coming into a pro system.
There has been talk that the Browns would like to name a starter for the regular season before their Week 3 preseason game, and maybe as soon as 48 hours after the game against the Redskins, but that may be difficult. The whole offense looked pretty anemic at times, whether it was Hoyer or Manziel at the helm.
They still have two preseason games to play, so there isn’t a huge rush for Pettine to name his guy if he believes that Manziel is developing quick enough to be a better option than Hoyer to start the regular season.