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Brian Hoyer atop training camp depth chart, Johnny Manziel second team

Posted Jun 12, 2014

July will begin the true quarterback battle

On Thursday, Browns head coach Mike Pettine declared Brian Hoyer the first-team quarterback when the team begins training camp in late July.  

Not to dampen the announcement, but Pettine made it quite clear that the quarterback competition hasn’t really begun.

Johnny Manziel is still learning the basics of the offense, while Hoyer has yet to fully participate in 11-on-11 drills due to his recovery from ACL surgery.

“At this point, we really weren’t keeping score,” said Pettine. “I think we’ll be much more apt to do that once we get to training camp.”

Just like OTAs and minicamp, Manziel will get his fair share of reps with the first-team offense. Pettine doesn’t want Manziel to fret about trying to overtake Hoyer as the starter, though.  

“I don’t think he should concern himself so much with where Brian is, but where he is,” said Pettine. “He’s going to have plenty of tape to study, his own work, what the rest of the offense has done, even in the time before he got here, the work that we were able to do on the field and start to study some opponent tape.”

Pettine loves competition, but he said there are certain challenges the quarterback positions presents.

“The issue for us as a staff will be finding the right time to name the starter,” said Pettine. “If you wait too late, then nobody’s ready for the opener. If you do it too soon then it wasn’t a true competition. That will be part of our discussions.”

Wide receiver Nate Burleson summed it up the best. He’s getting his popcorn ready and can’t wait to see which guy comes out on top.

“Whether you’re a guy coming off an injury like Hoyer or a guy that’s taken most of the criticism and handled it well like Johnny, both of those guys have more than enough reasons to want to play and be very good at the position,” said Burleson.

“I feel like we are fortunate to have that because I’ve been on teams and there are teams right now that don’t have that competition,” continued Burleson. “They’ll have one guy and pretty much everyone else is destined to be the backup. For us, we have two guys that can play at a very high level.”