Manziel-Mania almost took over Cleveland this week against the Colts and it has sparked a lot of talk on who should start at quarterback for the Browns. We have heard Sports Director Tony Zarrella's take and others around the town, so I sent out an email to faces and voices you may have never seen or heard that work here at 19 Action News on who they think should start for the Browns and why. I'd like to share a couple responses, but first I'd like to tell you what I think.
Brian Hoyer has done something to this town that we haven't seen in a while, in my opinion he made Cleveland Browns football come alive for the first time since the return. I'm tired of switching quarterbacks every other week, or every other year. Switching quarterbacks will never win you games, all of the greats have their lowest point in the beginning. What would the Colts be if they gave up on Peyton Manning after a 3-13 season? Turning to a rookie quarterback who I believe will not be successful in the NFL is the biggest mistake Mike Pettine could have done. Hoyer has put us in a playoff race and by putting in Manziel you're throwing in the towel and setting a bad vibe to your veteran players who came here to compete and not to give up. I want nothing but wins for the Browns, If Manziel starts for them next year and is great, I'll be happy to be wrong.
Now here is a few opinions from our own:
Stephen Parsons- Assistant News Specialist:
“Will starting Johnny Manziel as the quarterback bring Alex Mack back from a season ending leg injury? Will it suddenly get Jordan Cameron back on the field as the pro bowl tight end we remember from a season ago? Will it make the running game look consistent or get Josh Gordon's timing better with another quarterback? No, start the quarterback that got you this far. Putting a true rookie into a playoff race in December means you are waving the white flag. Ride it out with Hoyer and Manziel takes over next year.”
Denise Dufala- Anchor:
“Definitely Brian Hoyer. Johnny may have more pizzazz, but I believe Brian Hoyer is smarter and has the composure to get the job done long term. And I have to admit, I'm partial to a guy who's from my hometown of North Olmsted. I'm glad the coach is giving him another chance to start.”
Jeffrey Koiner-Program Editor
: “Manziel should be the starter because since the JAX game Hoyer has played as bad as any QB in the league he is second to last in QB completion % and he has six INT and 1 TD in the last three games.”
Chris Van Vliet- Entertainment Reporter:
“ Hoyer, the Browns are in the thick of the playoff hunt for the first time in years, why would you trust that a rookie who has only taken a handful of snaps in the NFL?”
Julius Palange- Assistant News Specialist:
“Brian Hoyer… I agree with Joe Thomas, if you put the rookie in that says the team is basically giving up on the season. We are 7-5 right now with a chance to make the playoffs. Good teams stick with their people during tough times. Next year, however, Johnny Manziel has to be the guy.”
Dan Wagner- Sports Photographer:
“Hoyer, Manziel is not ready to start yet. Look at Rodgers in Green Bay. He sat behind Favre for a couple of years and look at him.
Rob Weske-WOIO/WUAB Promotion Manager:
“Brian Hoyer's homebodies always gravitate to one stat: the team is 7-5 at a point in the season when fans usually are looking ahead to which draft picks the team will mess up on next spring. Yes, the team is winning, but winning ugly. Jimmy Carter became president by winning ugly. Despite the fact that Carter became the first and only man to start as a peanut farmer and wind up as president, he will never be on the short list to get his face carved face into Mount Rushmore.
Coach Mike Pettine has to win now. There's no time to develop quarterbacks over a season or two. ( It took Steelers Hall Of FFarmerTerry Bradshaw about four NFL seasons to play the position with consistency—and he played at a time when the NFL was a run-heavy league. ) The modern day NFL is a passing league: you throw to control the ball, control the clock, move the chains, everything. There are more receiver sets, more targets running routes, more passing situations. Third and two is no longer a smash mouth down: it's a scramble, read, and throw to the open man down. Has Brian Hoyer, the people's quarterback, taken full advantage of all these opportunities to put big numbers on the board? Hoyer's completion percentage is just north of 50 percent and falling. He's almost at 50 percent for touchdown passes and interceptions, too. He has lost quarterback duels to the likes of Kyle Orton, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Blake Bortles. That group will never get seated in a restaurant before the Bradys, Rodgers, and Mannings of the league. In a contract year, Hoyer just does not have the kind of resume you plunk down with confidence when you're negotiating a 16 million dollar raise.
Bad quarterback play got last year's coach fired after 16 games. In 2013, an unappetizing combo platter of slow footed and inaccurate quarterbacks ended the Chud era with a thud. In 2014, 7-5 is one thing, but the schedule only gets tougher from here. Hoyer was a piñata in the face of the Buffalo pass rush. The true crunch time of the NFL season is when the weather turns cold, and the pass rush heats up. It's a bad scenario for an immobile quarterback that's already got a severe case of the yips. Hoyer is a nice bedtime story, the hometown hero who rides into the sunset on a unicorn. But I just don't see a happy ending.
What I do see is a time to get the guy the Browns used a first round draft pick on, Johnny Manziel, into the game. Give me a dangerous, unpredictable wild card quarterback, a guy that gives NFL defensive coordinators sleepless nights. Blitz the guy, and he can take off like a greased rabbit. Clearly he can throw: look what he did in college against Alabama's defenses, loaded with NFL caliber talent. Bama head coach Nick Saban, who knows talent and waxes superlatives as often as Bill Belichick ( which is never), offered to buy the Manziel family a fruit basket because they let Johnny go pro after two years of giving him migraines. Well, we have that guy on the Browns sidelines. He's thrown twelve passes all season. Twelve. The thought of Johnny Manziel scrambling from the rush, looking downfield and cocking his harm, will make Josh Gordon's eyes light up like he's walking into a hemp store.
Time to get Johnny Headlines into the game. “