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Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel share center stage

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Cleveland’s QB competition not about them; but the Browns

As much as the national media will try and force you to believe the quarterback competition is Brian Hoyer against Johnny Manziel, inside Berea, that’s not the belief.

Both quarterbacks, and the rest of the roster for that matter, have complete faith in the coaching staff for choosing the right man to lead the Cleveland Browns to the most victories.

“I am confident that I am that guy,” said Hoyer about earning the starting nod. “But in the same sense, I know that if it comes down to the fact that Johnny does beat me out, I will have given everything I have and he will have totally earned it. That’s what you want.”

“At the end of the day, what I want is what’s best for this team, what’s best for this organization because this is about the Cleveland Browns," said Manziel. "This isn’t about me. This isn’t about Brian [Hoyer]. This isn’t about just the quarterback position. It takes 22 positions on the team to make this whole thing work and come together so it’s not just about us.”

In terms of logistics of training camp, coach Mike Pettine confirmed that not only will Hoyer be given most of the starting reps, he’ll all but assuredly be starting in Detroit for week one of the preseason.

Competing against a highly acclaimed rookie like Manziel is obviously a motivating factor for Hoyer. But he’ll list his ACL injury last season – and the games he started and won for the Browns – as his chief motivation for the beginning of training camp.  

“To have just a taste of it last year and to have it ripped away, it makes you realize how much you love the game,” Hoyer said. “Especially when you’ve waited for an opportunity for a long time. So it drove me for the past nine months and it will continue to drive me.”

Manziel knows his climb to the depth chart will be a steep one. Pettine told the media Friday that at Texas A&M, verbiage on play calls for Manziel were three words. With Kyle Shanahan’s offense, the play calls can get as heavy as 10, 11 or 12 words. The battle against the playbook will be the first action of NFL combat for Manziel.  

“I have to get better and continue to learn the game of football more and more I’m not sitting up here saying that I know everything or that I’m even close to perfecting this thing,” Manziel said. “I’m still a young guy, a young player, and there’s a lot for me to learn and a lot for me to do moving forward.”

Other notable quotables

*Hoyer takes so much pride in being the leader of the football team.  

*”I know you guys talked to me in the spring, and I just wanted to be in the huddle,” said Hoyer, half-kiddingly. “I didn’t care if it was a run-play, a pass-play. I wanted to be in there with those guys and be a part of this team. That’s what I missed most.”

*Cleveland’s passion for sports has absolutely blown away Manziel

*”The fans have been incredible. From the day that I got drafted in New York, they’ve been incredible,” said the rookie quarterback. “Up until now, the buzz in this city about sports in general, not just about football, but you look at basketball now, the Indians are playing well, but especially for the Browns, this state, this town has been great for us. It’s been great to me personally.”

*Mike Pettine had a long conversation with quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, who boasted to the Browns head coach about where all of his quarterbacks are.

*”Dowell felt real good about how all the quarterbacks came back,” said Pettine. “It was obvious that they had gotten into their – it’s weird for me to say playbook, but it’s the iPad. You can’t say nose into your iPad. They’ve all done a good job, and it’s shown up. I was very pleased that we were able to get these two extra days, just kind of a head start camp for these guys, just to get in the meetings and get in the huddle and call the plays and getting it out. It was clear to see that all of them, especially Johnny, have worked ahead.”