Johnny Manziel took first-team reps with the Cleveland Browns Monday, which has led to media-driven speculation that the former Heisman Trophy winner has closed some of the gap between himself and Brian Hoyer.
As seen during the Browns Family-Day scrimmage last Saturday, Manziel gives the Browns another weapon with the ability to make plays with his legs. On the other hand, veteran players, such as Joe Thomas, have compared Hoyer to Tom Brady in terms of leadership ability.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio tackled the topic during his podcast Monday:
“In Seattle a couple years ago, people heralded coach Pete Carroll for doing the brave thing by going with the third-round rookie Russell Wilson. Look, Carroll was doing the smart thing, the obvious thing because everybody knew by the way Wilson commanded that team, that he was the best option.
This time around, that may not be case. this time around, the players, like Joe Thomas, the guy who compared Brian Hoyer to Tom Brady, players may want Hoyer for now, ackowledging at some point it will flip to Manziel. And if it happens next year, a lot of those guys might not even be there next year.
That’s going to be the real key. Will Manziel have the support of the locker room? Will the players accept Manziel being made the starter? I still think it’s going to happen…”
Anderson was tremendous in 2007, assuring himself the starting job in 2008. The argument could be made that decision stunted Quinn’s development. The former Notre Dame star bounced around the league and is now a college football analyst for Fox Sports.
Florio also suggested that the Browns are going to do everything in their power to protect their quarterback of the future.
”I still don’t believe, and won’t believe the Browns will put Johnny Manziel out there behind anything other than the starting offensive line during the preseason.”
Florio’s opinon was shared before the Browns released their first depth chart Tuesday morning, with Hoyer listed as the starter. However, it may not mean much, because there’s a ton of practices remaining until the Browns open the season at Pittsburgh come September.
The Browns open the preseason Saturday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.