Brian Hoyer has won the starting quarterback job for the Cleveland Browns.
Hoyer beat out first round pick Johnny Manziel for the job even as both played poorly in the Browns second preseason game in Washington on Monday night.
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” coach Mike Pettine said in a statement. “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.”
The Browns had planned to name a starting quarterback prior to the third preseason game.
“I think Brian’s been very poised,” Pettine said Wednesday. “I think he’s handled the situation well. He’s had a lot of things going on.
“I think it’s especially good, as an offensive unit, to go out and play and gain cohesion and chemistry. That was one of the reasons I wanted to go ahead and make the decision before this third preseason game so that (Hoyer and the rest of the starting offense) could play as a unit for a good chunk of it.”
Hoyer was two of six for 16 yards against the Redskins while Manziel was just seven of 16 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown despite playing well into the second half against second and third string defensive players.
A journeyman thoughout his career Hoyer has just four career starts in the NFL.
Should Hoyer struggle the Browns will have the option of turning to Manziel who was praised by Pettine.
“He’s certainly made great strides,” Pettine said of the former Texas A&M quarterback. “We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”