CLEVELAND -- When it came down to it, Browns head coach Mike Pettine went with experience and leadership.
Those were two of the deciding factors in naming Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback over rookie Johnny Manziel.
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine said of Hoyer. “We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.”
BREAKING: Brian Hoyer to lead Browns, named starting quarterback. pic.twitter.com/EGKWJ5t2pZ
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 20, 2014
Pettine wanted to name the starter this week to maximize the time Hoyer and the offense could prepare for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh.
He said the decision does not reflect poorly on Manziel.
“He’s certainly made great strides,” Pettine said. “We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”
The Browns have one remaining pre-season game against St. Louis at home Saturday.