Maybe Mike Pettine just needed to sleep on it. A day after being unable to name a starting quarterback, the Browns announced Brian Hoyer would be their starter for Week 1 of the regular season, beating out Johnny Manziel.
Tuesday was the self-imposed deadline for Pettine to name a starter but he waffled, saying "I don't know." On Wednesday morning, Pettine said Hoyer was the "clear leader from the beginning."
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine said. “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.”
“I think Brian's been very poised,” Pettine said. “I think he's handled the situation well. He's had a lot of things going on.”
As for Manziel, Pettine didn't throw him under the bus, despite the rookie flipping the bird to the Redskins bench during Monday's preseason game after Washington's defenders allegedly mocked him because he wasn't playing in "college anymore."
Pettine said Manziel's "made great strides" although he did include the word "coachable" in his description.
“He's certainly made great strides,” Pettine said. “We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”