NFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Delay of game: Browns not ready to name Hoyer or Manziel their starting quarterback

  • Print

CLEVELAND - This summer saga, packed with drama, celebrity and clumsiness, isn't quite over for the Browns.

Hoyer vs. Manziel marches on.

Cleveland first-year coach Mike Pettine still hasn't chosen his Week 1 starting quarterback, and that's not his fault. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven't convinced him — or anyone, really — that they deserve the job.

Pettine had been expected to announce during a teleconference on Tuesday whether Hoyer, the inexperienced veteran and hometown hero coming back from knee surgery, or Manziel, the hyped rookie and former Heisman Trophy winner, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh.

But the decision has been delayed and it could carry through Cleveland's third preseason game on Saturday.

Pettine said Cleveland's coaching staff will meet Wednesday night and could then choose a starter. Maybe.

"We're not in position to make it at this point in time," Pettine said of an announcement many Browns fans have been anxiously awaiting for months. "We'll decide later if we're ready to name a starter. We could have one named, and I'm not ruling that out. That's something we're going to discuss. And if we do have to wait until after the next game, so be it.

"We're going to weigh everybody's opinion. I'm very clearly on record: I would like to make a decision, and that's still very much a possibility."

Pettine reiterated that "all options are on the table," meaning he could name Hoyer or Manziel or push a decision back until after the Browns host the St. Louis Rams in their third exhibition.

Pettine's choice grew much tougher after Hoyer and Manziel both played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday night.

Hoyer started and missed wide-open receivers and appeared to be buckling under the pressure of not being able to put an end to his competition with Manziel.

Hoyer finished 2 of 6 for 16 yards, hardly the numbers he needed to solidify starting.

"It was embarrassing," Hoyer said.

Manziel's most memorable moment may have been when he made an obscene gesture toward the Redskins' sideline, an act Pettine called "extremely disappointing" and will likely result in a fine from the NFL. When he was only using his right hand to throw, Manziel completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards one touchdown, which came against Washington's backups.

Pettine said the quarterbacks weren't the only ones who had unsatisfactory games.

"There were a lot of guys that had some plays they'd want to take back," he said. "I just think it was overall inconsistency on the offence. It's hard for a quarterback to look good when the guys around them aren't playing well."

As for Manziel getting caught on national TV flashing his middle finger at the Redskins, Pettine said that behaviour — as well as the 21-year-old's other off-season conduct — will be factored into the decision on a starter.

"We'll take into account all things quarterbacks A to Z," Pettine said. "So it's body of work, it's everything from the time they set foot in the building back in the spring up until today."

Manziel said he was taunted by Redskins players and he responded not realizing the world was watching. Following the game, Manziel acknowledged "I should've been smarter."

Pettine has preached to his players about staying poised and Manziel didn't show any in responding to the trash talk he was hearing from Washington's defenders and bench.

"We talk about 'Play like a Brown,'" Pettine said. "We want our guys to act like a Brown and we want this to be a first-class organization. We have hundreds, thousands of kids come to our training camp practices and look up to our players and that type of behaviour is unacceptable.

"It's something that's part of football that you have to maintain your poise and your composure, especially at that position and he should know better than anyone that all eyes are on him. I know it's something that will be addressed by the league and will be addressed internally."

Pettine, maybe more than anyone, wants the QB competition — and ceaseless discussion — to end. But he won't stop it until he's certain he's chosen the right quarterback to lead the Browns into Heinz Field in a few weeks. He knows the longer it goes, the harder it will be for Cleveland's struggling offence to build momentum.

"We want to get the decision right so that might be the risk-reward with it," he said. "If we want to make sure that we are diligent with it and do the right thing, then I don't want to rush it and make it for the sake of making it. Then, you're risking the chemistry and the cohesion if you have the wrong guy there.

"There is a decent amount of time left still until Pittsburgh. These were under ideal circumstances that we could name this week, and again, I'm not ruling that out."

___

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Wasylycia-Leis says Bowman and Ouellette ran a good campaign

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google