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Cleveland Browns: The Only Choice At QB Is Johnny Manziel

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Johnny Manziel
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Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine has denied reports that Johnny Manziel has overtaken Brian Hoyer as the team’s starting quarterback.

It’s understandable as Hoyer played well in 2013 before suffering a season ending injury. In the three games he went 3-0, completing 59.6 percent of his passes and throwing five touchdowns to go along with three interceptions. Hist most impressive start came in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in which he threw for 269 yards, completed 25-38 passes and threw two touchdowns without an interception. In start no.3 he suffered the season ending injury.

Since Hoyer has been in the league for six years it’s obvious that Pettine is doing his best to not throw his rookie quarterback  into the fire too soon. Yet, it’s become eerily similar to what happened with the San Francisco 49ers. The only difference is that this is happening during preseason and not in-season.

49ers quarterback Alex Smith suffered a concussion and Colin Kaepernick took the opportunity and rose to the occasion making it impossible for Jim Harbaugh to go back to Smith.

During that off-season Smith got traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. As for Kaepernick he’s gotten San Francisco to one play away from a Super Bowl win and last season came one play from a return trip to the Super Bowl.

Pettine now gets to face the same predicament that Harbaugh found himself in. Hoyer doesn’t possess the arm strength or mobility of Manziel, yet makes up for that by making quick decisions and being accurate with his passes.

In the first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, Manziel showed off his arm strength and seemed to find rapport with Grand Valley State University receiver Charles Johnson who caught two of his three passes from Manziel.

Also, noticeable that once Manziel gets used to the speed of the NFL he got an opportunity on a fourth and one situation where if he immediately had taken off with the football he gets the first down, instead he held the football, which then gave him a chance at a completion, eventually he picked up the first down by running for it, so that was an example of where he needed to make a quicker decision.

At the moment Pettine most likely hasn’t gotten the chance making up his mind on who will start in the regular season, since it was only the first preseason game.  He will need to make the choice sooner than later and he will weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Hoyer and Manziel.

When it’s all said and done, Hoyer has the quick decisions and accurate throws, yet if protection breaks down he doesn’t have the ability that  Manziel has to keep plays alive, which is why Manziel deserves the starting nod as his elusiveness, ability to keep plays alive with his legs and his strong-arm are more beneficial to the Browns.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at

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