Hoyer was 3-0 as the starter last season before tearing his ACL in October and missing the rest of the season. The Browns drafted Manziel with the No. 22 pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Browns coach Mike 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.”
Both quarterbacks struggled during Monday night's game against Washington, combining to go 9-for-22 on pass attempts. After the game, Pettine said he was disappointed by Manziel flipping off the Washington bench. "It does not sit well," he said at the postgame press conference. "It's disappointing ... you have to be able to maintain your poise."
Manziel was also reportedly late to a team meeting last week.
But Pettine didn't disparage Manziel. Instead, he insisted the rookie quarterback is progressing nicely.
“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.”
- Paul Palladino