Skip to main content


Browns offseason analysis: Putting the QBs under the microscope


Over the next two weeks, we'll be diving into the numbers, pulling quotes and forecasting the future for each Browns' position group.

Make sure to check out Cleveland Browns Daily from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., which will follow the same schedule we do with its breakdowns over the next two weeks.

We're starting at the top with the quarterbacks.

The Raw Data

Brian Hoyer - 13 starts, 242/438, 3,326 yards, 12 TDs, 13 INTs

Duke Johnson Jr. - 2 starts, 18/35, 175 yards, 2 INTs; 29 rushing yards, TD

Connor Shaw - 1 start, 14/28, 177 yards, INT

The Rankings

Passing offense - 216.56 yards per game - 20th

Completion percentage - 54.6 percent - 32nd

TDs - 12 - 32nd

INTs - T-19th

The High Point

Though it came in a losing effort, Hoyer had his best individual performance Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. The veteran posted a quarterback rating of 127.1 and averaged 11.6 yards per attempt when he finished with 290 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions in the last-second loss to the Ravens. His best effort in a win came against the Raiders, when he threw for 275 yards and a touchdown in the 23-13 victory.

The Low Point

Making his first career start in place of a struggling Hoyer, Manziel labored from start to finish in a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, effectively ending the Browns' playoff hopes. The rookie completed 10-of-18 passes for 80 yards and two interceptions in a game that saw the Browns pick up just five first downs.

Best throw

Holding a 7-3 lead midway through the second quarter, Hoyer made a pass that absolutely broke the Pittsburgh Steelers. Faced with a third-and-2, Hoyer faked a handoff to Ben Tate, withstood some pressure to his left and dropped a dime to tight end Jordan Cameron in stride -- just out of the reach of Shamarko Thomas -- for a 51-yard touchdown.

Surprise, Surprise

As recently as mid-December, Shaw's main role on the scout team was to line up at safety against the first-team offense. When Manziel and Hoyer both went down with injuries against Carolina, Shaw was summoned for quite the promotion, as he simultaneously received his first snaps, first start and first active roster paycheck on the same day in Cleveland's season finale at Baltimore. The former South Carolina star didn't lead the Browns to a win, but he showed off the kind of poise and preparation that garnered unanimous respect from his teammates and coaches. Shaw connected on deep passes to Jordan Cameron and Taylor Gabriel en route to a 14-of-28, 177-yard performance against one of the NFL's perennially tough defenses.

Quote to Note

"I would say our quarterback picture is muddy at best and obviously will be a major point. When we allocate time to discussing each position I have a sense that quarterback will be given the most (time)." -- Coach Mike Pettine, Dec. 29

Outlook for 2015

Perhaps no position on the Browns' roster exemplifies just how week to week the NFL is than quarterback. At the midpoint of the season, Hoyer appeared locked in for the foreseeable future as he led the Browns with a steady hand to a 6-3 record. After weeks of inconsistency, the veteran lost his hold on the job to Manziel, who received a rude welcome to the NFL before injuring his hamstring midway through his second start. Shaw was steady in his lone start, but his sample size is just as small as Manziel's. Hoyer is an unrestricted free agent and, though he has expressed interest in returning, acknowledged that he'd hope to land somewhere as a definite starter. General Manager Ray Farmer expressed confidence in Manziel's future but acknowledged the Browns would not hesitate to use one of their two first-round picks on a quarterback if the player "could help this football team and move us forward." The free agent market for quarterbacks is limited, but opportunities could present themselves when rosters are trimmed for salary cap space or via trade.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content