Brian Hoyer kept a tight grip on the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback job on Sunday when he led his team to an upset win over the New Orleans Saints. From the sound of it, Hoyer may have been even more motivated by Johnny Manziel seeing his first regular season action.
Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan decided earlier this week that he was going to use Manziel at some point on Sunday. When informed of that, Hoyer was not happy.
“As mad as I was when he told me, I think it mentally helped me prepare for it,” Hoyer said, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. As much as it might irk me to go off the field, if it’s going to help us win, then I’m all for it. I think as a competitor and as a quarterback, when there’s only one of you on the field, it’s hard for you to get taken off. But I think for me, I was mentally able to stay in it.
“I think a lot of guys might not be able to handle that, and I think because they were up front with me, Kyle was up front with me, and said, ‘Look, we may do it. We may not. If we need to use it, we might.’ I think that helped me.”
Manziel came on for three plays — two handoffs that netted zero yards and an incomplete pass. Hoyer, on the other hand, completed 24 of 40 passes for 204 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. He seemed even more motivated after Manziel’s second appearance, as he went on to complete 15 of 19 passes for 136 yards and orchestrate two scoring drives after that point.
Hoyer’s game-winning, 14-play drive was a thing of beauty. He took the Browns 85 yards and helped put them in position for a chip-shot field goal. Maybe Shanahan needs to make him angry more often.