Hoyer or Manziel? Browns head coach Mike Pettine hasn’t decided

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) throws as Brian Hoyer, right, watches before a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit. 

Rick Osentoski/AP

The Cleveland Browns have not yet made a starting quarterback decision.

On a Tuesday afternoon conference call, Browns coach Mike Pettine said he’s "not in a position to make (the decision) at this time" but said he’ll meet with his assistant coaches Tuesday night and that a decision could be made then.

Since the beginning of camp Pettine has said he wanted to name a starter before the Aug. 23 third preseason game, which is now five days and two full practices away. The stinker turned in by both Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel in Monday night’s game at Washington has complicated matters for Pettine and the Browns with the Sept. 7 season opener at Pittsburgh 19 days away.

"In ideal circumstances we’d have a starter named — and I’m not ruling that out," Pettine said. "If we have to wait until after the next game, so be it.

"There’s a decent amount of time left until the Pittsburgh game. We can still get a lot of reps."

Hoyer, who’s started both preseason games and taken the majority of the reps with the No. 1 offense through camp, is 6-of-22 passing in two preseason games. Neither quarterback has gotten much help from a struggling receiving corps, and Pettine said that hasn’t helped.

"It’s tough to evaluate quarterbacks when the performance around them isn’t what it needs to be," Pettine said.

Throughout the process Pettine has said he’ll rely heavily on the opinions of quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and on Tuesday said they’ll go evaluate both "from A to Z, from the time they came in the building in the spring" through Monday night’s game.

In that game, Manziel got the Browns their first touchdown of the preseason early in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard dumpoff to Dion Lewis. The Browns went three-and-out on each of their first three series, two with Hoyer and one with Manziel. Two of those started in Washington territory.

"We want to get the decision right," Pettine said, "That might be the risk/reward of it; we want to make sure that we are diligent with it and do the right thing. I don’t want to rush it and make it for the sake of making it and then you’re risking the chemistry and cohesion if you have the wrong guy there."

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