The news may have come a day later than expected, but it certainly is not any less surprising. Johnny Manziel’s ridiculous antics on Monday night forced the hand of head coach Mike Pettine to go with Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
Clearly, it is the smart choice, especially since Manziel has proven he cannot handle the responsibility of leading an NFL team into battle. Hoyer has had some downs during training camp, but overall, he has shown the ability to lead the team in the locker room and move the chains on the field.
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine said, according to CBS Sports. “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.”
Experience is certainly important when it comes to the single most important position on the football team. Even though the locker room was reportedly divided in half in support of Manziel and Hoyer, no one can deny that it began to turn in the favor of Hoyer as the weeks went on. As much as the players wanted to believe Manziel could handle the role, the reality is no one wants that embarrassment to be the face of the team.
The Browns are still hopeful that Manziel is their man in the future. However, there simply is more confidence in Hoyer to get the job done at this moment. Despite Manziel making great strides during his rookie training camp, he still has plenty to learn about the NFL.
It should be noted that even though Hoyer has been named the starter for Week 1, it does not mean he will automatically be the starter for the entire season. He will have to have success if he wants to remain under center. Pettine made it very clear that he will have no problem giving Manziel a shot if Hoyer falters.