Browns Hoyer, Manziel will split time with starters
BEREA, Ohio (MCT) -- Coach Mike Pettine's impending announcement about who'll start at quarterback for the Browns when they visit the Washington Redskins on Monday night in the second preseason game will pack less of a punch because of the revelation he made Tuesday after practice.
The Browns plan to give veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel about the same amount of reps with the starters in their upcoming nationally televised prime-time game. Pettine, quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will meet Thursday, when the team has the day off, to choose the starting quarterback for Monday.
"We're all going to have an opinion on how we want to handle it, but it's not going to be anything earth-shattering," Pettine said. "The bottom line coming out of the game is that they both should get close to equal reps with the ones no matter who starts."
Hoyer started the Browns' preseason opener Saturday and worked exclusively with the first-team offense in the 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions. Manziel spent the night with the second unit. The second exhibition game will definitely be different.
"Johnny's going to get reps with the ones," Pettine said. "Just to me, the factor of starting the game I think is a little bit overblown in this situation because we're going to try to balance the reps with the ones in the game. So I don't think it was anything that, 'Brian came in ahead.' It's a little overrated who trots out there for the first time."
The coaches have yet to decide whether Hoyer and Manziel will each play a quarter or if they'll alternate series.
"It's hard to get in a rhythm if it is by series," Pettine said. "So that will be one of the things we'll discuss."
Pettine believes the staff is still "on schedule" to name a starting quarterback for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at the Pittsburgh Steelers before the third preseason game Aug. 23 against the St. Louis Rams.
Although Hoyer's and Manziel's performances Monday will carry a significant amount of weight, Loggains stressed the decision won't solely be based on the game.
"It's body of work they're accumulating, putting together," Loggains said. "And that's how we'll make the decision."
The Browns released an updated depth chart Tuesday. Hoyer is still listed as the No. 1 quarterback, and Manziel is No. 2. But Loggains echoed Pettine's previous statements about the absence of a clear-cut favorite in the quarterback derby.
"There's not a leader," Loggains said.
Manziel took all of the reps with the first-team offense during practice Tuesday, completing 6 of 12 passes with an interception in team drills, according to the Beacon Journal's unofficial count. Hoyer, who received all of the snaps with the starters Monday, completed 6 of 9 passes in 11 on 11 sessions while working with the second unit.
In Saturday's exhibition game, Hoyer completed 6 of 14 passes for 92 yards in three series, posting a passer rating of 65.2. Manziel went 7 of 11 passing for 63 yards in four series, finishing with a passer rating of 79. He also ran six times for 27 yards (4.5 average).