Brian Hoyer admits he was ‘mad’ when told Johnny Manziel was going to play

Johnny Manziel Brian Hoyer

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.

Brian Hoyer named Browns starting quarterback over Johnny Manziel

Johnny-ManzielThe Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday morning that Brian Hoyer will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 of the regular season. Johnny Manziel has been named his backup — for now.

“(Hoyer) was the clear leader from the beginning,” coach Mike Pettine said in a press release, via Around the League. “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.”

The knee-jerk reaction is that this is a no-win situation for Hoyer. Unless Hoyer plays consistently well (a difficult task for anyone at the NFL level), Manziel is going to get a shot at some point this season. Hoyer knows his margin for error will be incredibly tight, which could add pressure and affect his performance.

Why did Mike Pettine decide to name a starter before the third game of the preseason? For starters, there have been rumors that the Browns do not want Manziel’s first NFL start to come against a potentially tough defense like the Steelers on the road. Boomer Esiason believes Manziel would get his “ass kicked” in Pittsburgh and the Browns might agree.

[WATCHThe moment Johnny Manziel finds out ESPN captured his middle finger]

Beyond the difficulty of the matchup, you have to wonder if Manziel’s infamous middle finger had anything to do with Pettine’s decision. In addition to not looking that sharp on Monday night (6-of-17 passing), Manziel made a lapse in judgment that not only made him look bad but also may have indicated he is letting opponents get under his skin.

We’d be stunned if Hoyer starts even half of Cleveland’s games this season.

Related: Johnny Manziel’s behavior reportedly cost him starting job

Mike Pettine denies that Johnny Manziel has moved past Brian Hoyer

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeThe Cleveland Browns have played just one preseason game, and already there is speculation that Johnny Manziel could be the favorite to land the starting quarterback job come Week 1. Manziel has been closing the gap in the QB race with Brian Hoyer during training camp. However, head coach Mike Pettine insists the job is still up for grabs.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pettine said in a conference call Sunday that there is no “clearcut favorite” for the starting job and that a report from ESPN’s Bob Holtzman about Manziel moving ahead of Hoyer on the depth chart is “untrue.”

While Pettine said Manziel has shown great improvement, he claims Hoyer has done nothing to lose the starting job to this point. He also said he would like to name a starting quarterback by the Browns’ third preseason game but there is no guarantee it will happen.

A lot of people feel that Manziel should spend some time holding a clipboard before he starts, but it seems like Hoyer is a lame duck. Even if Hoyer does start in Week 1, you know he will be on an incredibly short leash. Fans already want to see Manziel, which is going to put a ton of pressure on Hoyer. It’s only a matter of time before Johnny Football gets his shot.

Brian Hoyer slide results in leg injury

Brian Hoyer slideBrian Hoyer left Thursday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills after suffering a leg injury while attempting to slide.

The Browns went 3 and out on their first possession, and then Hoyer got hurt on their second possession.

Hoyer scrambled on 2nd and 9 from the Cleveland 36 and picked up a first down on his run. But as Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso closed in, he attempted to slide. However, Alonso tackled him as he was sliding, which caused his leg to twist under his body in a bad way.

Brandon Weeden came in for Hoyer, who walked to the locker room. Hoyer, a former Michigan State and New England Patriots quarterback, was 2-0 on the season and had given Browns fans a reason to be optimistic. Their prospects of winning are much worse with Weeden.

Below is another angle of the slide:

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