Coach Mike Pettine said on Friday that a two-platoon system, where Manziel has his own offensive package, is 'on the table' for Cleveland.
"I think in the NFL that you do yourself a disservice if you don't have two quarterbacks ready. And people have asked me about potentially a two-quarterback system and having a package for [Manziel]. That is on the table," Pettine told SiriusXM NFL Radio.
If the Browns do go to a two quarterback system, it doesn't sound like it's something that will happen during the first few weeks of the season. Pettine wants Hoyer, who was just named the team's starter on Aug. 20, to get comfortable running the Browns offense first.
"I don't know if that's anything that we want to commit to just now," Pettine said of using two quarterbacks. "I think Brian, because of the competition, is a little behind, with the chemistry and continuity in working with that first group. I think that is something that we can potentially look at down the road."
Pettine had talked about the possibility of a two quarterback system in July, but he didn't say whether or not he favored it.
"I think there's positives and negatives to it," Pettine said. "You're taking your starter off the field. You have his rhythm and continuity to take into account, but at the same time defensively you're now forcing a team to basically come up with two game plans."
That last sentence is why this makes sense. As a former defensive coordinator, Pettine knows that if he just says Manziel might play, then a team will have to prepare for Manziel even though Pettine could conceivably have zero plans of playing Manziel or running a two-quarterback system. It's a reverse smokescreen, smokescreen.
If Manziel does stay on the bench though, you can always just buy a 'Johnny Clipboard' t-shirt.