By Ellen Chlumecky
As soon as the decision to keep Brian Hoyer on as quarterback for the Cleveland Browns’ playoff run, things quickly changed. The argument that coach Mike Pettine had made for Hoyer seemed so sound, however, he clearly changed his mind quickly after their last game with Hoyer as quarterback. Mike Pettine announced Tuesday afternoon that Johnny Manziel will make his first career start this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals.
While Pettine made an argument for Hoyer before last weekend’s game, he has turned around and said his decision was not based on Johnny Manziel or Brian Hoyer. Pettine said his decisions and the decisions of his staff are always made me in the best interest of the team. While Pettine expressed that Hoyer did everything he was asked of and followed through on all of these duties professionally, he clearly stated that they are trying to get their offense to perform at a higher level.
Pettine said that Johnny Manziel has been working very hard to earn this opportunity and said it will be very important for every member of the offense to elevate their play for us to obtain their desired result.
While I understand that coaches change their mind about players all the time, it is puzzling to me why Pettine seemed so dead set on Hoyer last weekend but now wants to put Manziel in. I’m well aware that Hoyer did not play his best on Sunday, Pettine built him up to have been a key aspect in their success this year thus far. He made it clear that he wanted Hoyer as quarterback during their playoff run because Manziel was still maturing as a player and did not seem ready for this type of game. However on Monday, Pettine made a statement saying that he was leaning toward a quarterback change during his news conference after Hoyer struggled in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
While I understand changing out the inconsistent Hoyer for Manziel, I don’t understand why Pettine would build Hoyer up then pulling the rug out from under him. Manziel will be facing the same pressure that Hoyer had to go through. In addition, this will be Manziel’s first career start, making the pressure even higher. While it was no surprise to fans that the switch was made, I don’t think the way Pettine approached the situation was in his best interest.
I don’t know if Manziel is ready for this type of pressure but I certainly know he has the talent to play well against the Bengals. We will see on Sunday if Pettine’s decision to put the hands of their season of Manziel was the right one.