CLEVELAND — The lights will be bright and the TV cameras will be focused. Monday night is the night the nation sees the Browns’ quarterback competition as it heads to a final decision as the Browns meet the Redskins in Washington, D.C.
Brian Hoyer will get the start but somehow, Mike Pettine will get Johnny Manziel his snaps, also with the first team.
Quite possibly, Pettine and his staff will announce the regular season starter Tuesday.
Whereas Hoyer started the first preseason game in Detroit, many felt Johnny Football would get the nod Monday night, but Pettine is going with the veteran.
Does Manziel think he is getting a true 50-50 shot?
“I don’t know the percentage chances of it, but I think, from what Coach Pettine and everyone else has stated from the beginning, they said that it was an equal, open competition and I don’t think that’s changed,” said Manziel.
Hoyer gave this perspective on the game: “Every game is crucial. For me it doesn’t change the way I prepare. Like I said, the thing I do is come out and be the best quarterback I can every day.”
No matter who is under center, there has to be a sense of urgency on the offense to get into the end zone. From the team’s Family Day Scrimmage in Akron, through the contest in Detroit, the offense has yet to score a touchdown. That could change tonight.
Receiver Josh Gordon is with the team, but was just coming back from a minor injury. It is not known if he will be getting any playing time. Later this week, it’s possible he could get word from the league on his punishment for failing a drug test.
After Monday night’s game, it’s a short turnaround as the Browns will be at FirstEnergy Stadium Saturday night to see firsthand how some of the renovations are coming along.
Oh yeah, they will also have to contend with the St. Louis Rams in what many call the dress rehearsal for the opener.