Johnny Manziel versus Brian Hoyer for the right to lead the Cleveland Browns to… one will start at quarterback in Cleveland. A month remains before NFL pre-season action and there are some BIG QB battles looming around the league. Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part two of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
My favorite quarterback competition is probably the one in Cleveland. The Browns have three QBs on their roster: rookie Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer, and Tyler Thigpen. Everyone, and I mean everyone, wants Manziel to win this job.
What’s funny about this competition, between last year’s starter Hoyer and new ‘rookie sensation’ Manziel, is that Hoyer actually did well in his three games last year. He put up a near 60% completion percentage to go with over 1200 yards passing and seven touchdowns. He also tossed six picks, but those are solid numbers to build on over only three games.
Of course Johnny Manziel is Mr. Football. He’s got everything you could want in an NFL starting quarterback, besides the pro-level resume. I have a feeling this competition is little more than a game of wait for Johnny, but it’s still super fun to watch because Manziel screams excitement.
The Browns are set up nicely here. Manziel is the man they want to win the job, the fresh-faced star who can headline their franchise. And with Hoyer they have an excellent number two. He could easily start for them and do quite well. I’d love to see him get a full season’s opportunity, but it won’t be happening in Cleveland. Johnny is their man and Brown’s fans have a lot to be excited about.
There are only two outcomes in Cleveland’s quarterback battle:
1. Brian Hoyer is the Browns’ starting quarterback all season because he’s the better player right now.
There doesn’t seem to be any logic in letting Hoyer start out the season if they’re just going to give the job to Manziel a month later. Cleveland isn’t on the precipice of anything spectacular. Especially considering the pending suspension of Josh Gordon, this offense is going to struggle no matter who is behind center. So if Hoyer is the man, let him play and see how good the team can be.
2. Johnny Manziel is the Brown’s starting quarterback from day one because the organization doesn’t care about winning games in 2014.
This sounds harsh, but it’s actually a logical conclusion to come to. Hoyer is an experienced and well-versed passer. He knows the roster, the playbook and the league. Manziel is nothing close to an Andrew Luck or someone else who obviously needs to get behind center right away. If Cleveland doesn’t care what its record is this season (and by all accounts, this is what happened last year), then Johnny should start game one. Throwing him in the fire will expose him for how good or how bad he can be.
For a team on the brink of playoff contention, option one is a no-brainer. For a rebuilding, young squad who already lost its best player to some sort of suspension, option two may be the wiser path to traverse. These past few years have proved that throwing a rookie quarterback into game action right away doesn’t stunt his progression. There is also little data to backup the idea that sitting a guy for eight weeks is beneficial. There are too many stories on each side of the equation to draw any conclusion other than “it depends on the guy.”
For John Football and the Browns, it depends on what their goals are.