Johnny Football Benched; Brian Hoyer To Start Browns’ Season Opener

It looks like “Johnny Football” is going to be “Johnny Bench” for the Cleveland Browns’ season opener; Mike Hoyer has been given the starting over Johnny Manziel for Opening Day, CBS Sports is reporting.

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine made the announcement Wednesday morning, after a self-imposed Tuesday deadline came and went, with Pettine unable to commit to Manziel or Hoyer for the season opener against the Steelers. However, today Pettine firmly committed himself, and his team, to Hoyer.

“He was the clear leader from the beginning. We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.”

Neither Manziel nor Hoyer have been particularly noteworthy this preseason; at Monday night’s preseason game against the Redskins, both quarterbacks struggled, with Hoyer going 2-for-6 for just 16 yards, according to USA Today. Manziel, on the other hand, went 2-for-7 for 29 yards. However, Hoyer is the more experienced quarterback, and Pettine apparently believes that experience will carry the day.

There’s also the matter that Manziel has some… attitude issues. Monday night, he made an obscene gesture towards the Redskins’ bench (see this Inquisitr article).

Johnny Manziel flipping the bird

As of this post, Manziel has not been fined by either the Browns or the NFL, although one or the other (or both) remains likely.

The decision to bench Manziel hardly spells the end for his season with the Browns. Elliot Greening of Give Me Sport says that Manziel has shown “flashes of brilliance” this preseason. There’s also the fact that Hoyer is a mediocre quarter back at best; he started only three games for the Browns last season, although he won all three. If and when Manziel gets the nod, he’ll be the 21st starting quarterback for the Browns since 1999, according to USA Today.

Do you think the Browns made the right decision in benching Johnny Football in favor of Brian Hoyer? Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Images courtesy of: Bing, Larry Brown Sports