Browns name Hoyer starting QB
AUG 20, 2014 8:27a ET
The team announced Wednesday morning the five-year veteran would be the team's starter for the regular-season opener against the Steelers.
"He was the clear leader from the beginning," Pettine said of Hoyer in a statement. "We've maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player."
Pettine said he only expects Hoyer to get better after coming off knee surgery. After meeting with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, the decision was reached. Pettine, however, remarked it is not an indictment on rookie Johnny Manziel.
"He's certainly made great strides," Pettine said. "We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him."
Both Hoyer and Manziel struggled through the Browns second preseason game Monday night in Washington. Hoyer was 2 for 6 for 16 yards, while Manziel went 6 for 16 for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Hoyer led the Browns to wins in his two full games as a starter last season before hurting his right knee in an October contest against the Bills.
The Browns are next in preseason action Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.