The veteran Hoyer was the starter heading into training camp, and first-year coach Mike Pettine gave Hoyer the nod over Manziel in Saturday's preseason game against the Lions. And while Hoyer did nothing to lose the job, Manziel made a good case for why he deserves more playing time.
As we wrote Saturay night, Hoyer's steady-as-she-goes effort won't be enough. Even though Manziel went three-and-out in his first series, in subsequent series he showed glimpses of what made him such a dynamo at Texas A&M.
Put another way: With Hoyer it's "what you see is what you get." Meanwhile, we have no idea just how good Manziel will be. For a team coming off a 4-12 season and perpetually in search of a franchise quarterback, the decision seems pretty straightforward, even if Pettine hasn't come out and said it.
There's a good chance Manziel starts against the Redskins on Aug. 18, and if he shows improvement from his solid outing in Detroit -- no matter how well Hoyer plays -- we'd be hard-pressed to come up with a scenario in which Pettine, who has said he wants to name a starter before Week 3, doesn't give Johnny Football the job.
Maybe Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and his half-century of NFL experience is right to expect to see Manziel when the two teams meet in the regular-season opener on Sept. 7.