ESPN’s Bob Holtzman reported that a “team source” said Manziel was now the leader of of the quarterback battle. This comes a couple weeks after Holtzman reported that Browns players expected Hoyer to be named the starter “well before” the third preseason game.
Reported 2 wks ago browns players expected Hoyer to start week 1. Starting to think they were wrong. Team source says Manziel now ahead.
— bob holtzman (@BobHoltzmanESPN) August 10, 2014
So, how did Manziel pull ahead, when neither of the quarterbacks especially looked remarkable Saturday night?
According to Holtzman, a team source said Manziel is ahead “after showing a live and trademark playmaking ability outside the pocket,” via NFL.com.
Hoyer was 6-of-14 for 92 yards, while Manziel was 7-of-11 for 63 yards. He added 27 yards on six carries and ended with 90 total yards from scrimmage.
One question surrounding the quarterback battle entering Training Camp was, “Who would the team support?”
Pete Carroll is credited as being a genius for starting Russell Wilson ahead of Matt Flynn two years ago, but it was obvious to players on that team that Wilson was better. If Carroll started Flynn, he would’ve risked losing his team before the season even started.
Hoyer hasn’t done anything to lose the job, while Manziel hasn’t done anything to seize the top spot on the depth chart. That’s why it a little surprising to see Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweet that the locker room is split between the two.
Cleve safety Donte Whitner told me he thinks the Browns locker room's 50-50 Hoyer/Manziel. They'd be okay with either starting.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 10, 2014
It’s really intriguing that Manziel has managed to make so many believers, so quickly, but while the latest reports have the former Heisman winner ahead of Hoyer, it’s unfathomable to believe that rookie head coach, Mike Pettine, will give his rookie a baptism by fire with starts at Pittsburgh, and then home against the Saints and Ravens–especially when a capable veteran in on the roster.
What do you think, is it obvious that Manziel pulled ahead?