The Browns have named Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback heading into the regular season, the team announced today in a press release. First-round pick Johnny Manziel had been challenging the incumbent signal-caller for the No. 1 role in Cleveland, but ultimately couldn’t unseat Hoyer, at least for now.
“[Hoyer] was the clear leader from the beginning,” said head coach Mike Pettine. “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.”
Neither player has stood out during the team’s preseason games, as I pointed out yesterday when I asked PFR readers which QB would win the starting job. Manziel had the opportunity to win the job, with Hoyer coming off an ACL surgery and not exactly having much NFL playing experience himself, but the rookie didn’t appear ready to take over the starting role quite yet. For what it’s worth, over 75% of you correctly predicted that Hoyer would be named the Browns’ starter, though a portion of those voters believed Manziel should play instead.
According to Mike Freeman (via Twitter), the decision will be good news for most of the Browns’ locker room, since the majority of the club’s players preferred Hoyer. While the 28-year-old Ohio native can’t necessarily match Manziel’s upside – or popularity, he was solid last year before an injury derailed his season, leading the Browns to wins over the Vikings and Bengals before going down in his third start.