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Pettine: Brian Hoyer, not Johnny Manziel, to start next preseason game

Pettine: Brian Hoyer, not Johnny Manziel, to start next preseason game Photo:

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer will start in the team's preseason game Monday at Washington, coach Mike Pettine said Thursday.

Pettine also said he plans to have Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel split first-team repetitions equally. He also said that who starts the game is not important.

“It’s just something right now where we are comfortable with Brian going out there to start the game,” Pettine said. “I think it’s a little overblown as to who the starter is going to be. The key component, as I’ve stated earlier this week, is that we are going to balance the reps. We will play it a little by ear as it goes on, we haven’t truly decided as far as the rotation but the goal is, for when we look at the stat sheet at halftime, that they both have the same amount of repetitions and hopefully they both get a good amount of work.” 

On Monday, Hoyer, who was listed as the Browns' first-team quarterback when the team released its first depth chart last week, said the Browns are "my team until someone else tells me otherwise."

In Saturday night's preseason opener against Detroit, Hoyer completed 6 of 14 pass attempts for 92 yards, while Manziel went 7-of-11 for 63 yards and added 27 yards on the ground.

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In a conference call with reporters on Sunday, coach Mike Pettine addressed the quarterback competition between Hoyer and Manziel.

Pettine denied an ESPN report saying that Manziel has moved ahead of Hoyer on the depth chart and said there was no front-runner to start the team's Sept. 7 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh.

"To me, if there was a clear-cut favorite at this point, it would probably mean that one of them wasn't playing very well,'' Pettine said. "And it's a good problem, having two guys that we think are both capable of being NFL starters.''

Hoyer, 28, threw for 615 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in three starts with the Browns last season before tearing his ACL. He went 3-0 in those games. 

Cleveland selected Manziel with the No. 22 pick in this year's draft. The 21-year-old won the Heisman Trophy in his redshirt freshman season at Texas A&M in 2012.

The Browns went 4-12 and finished in last place in the AFC North last season.

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