Well now I just don’t know what to think. I’m so confused and torn about this Browns’ team. Things change quickly in the NFL. A few weeks ago it seemed like Hoyer and the Browns were unstoppable and we’d all go skipping gleefully into the playoffs. While that still might happen, we find ourselves awaiting word today whether the Manziel era will begin in Cleveland. Here are my thoughts:
1. At this point, I don’t really care who the QB is if they produce wins. I’m glad I’m not Pettine today. His decision will either make him look like a genius, an over reactor, or gutless.
2. Hoyer is the hometown good guy. Handles himself professionally, it is so hard to root against him. At times seems unstoppable, he has really struggled lately, but he has quarterbacked 7 wins this season. To a Brown’s fan that is huge. He runs the offense as designed. When it works, they win and occasionally when it doesn’t, they find a way (Atlanta). I just think this is who he is, some days (drives) he’s got it, other days (drives) he doesn’t. So far, he’s produced more wins and for that I am thankful.
3. Manziel is the great unknown. An exciting play maker and rifle arm, no doubt. Obnoxious, cocky kid that if he didn’t play for the Browns, I almost wouldn’t want to see him and what he represents succeed. When I watch him play, he looks like a great college QB, and I don’t know if that will work in the NFL long term. He looked great on that one drive, but that is what is supposed to happen when you bring in a QB for a “spark”. It is something different and has a better shot at working short term. His second drive was horrendous.
4. Has any other 7-5 team within shot of the playoffs ever changed starting QBs without injury? What Pettine has to decide is can the offense work as designed? Is Hoyer the reason it isn’t working? If the answer is No the first or Yes to the second. He should start Manziel. Manziel may give them the better shot at “making” something happen. It is all going to be improvised, which could turn out really good or really bad. The pattern to beat the Hoyer led Browns is out there, Manziel may make it harder for the other team to game plan.
5. With that being said, I think Hoyer should be given the chance to finish what he started. If he succeeds it will be great, if not, we’ll know who he is and it makes the Manziel decision easier next year. I also see nothing wrong bringing Manziel into games when Hoyer is struggling. Doesn’t mean he should start the following week. Hoyer isn’t a hall of famer, but he has done a good job with what he’s been given. Give him these last four games and let him write his own place in Brown’s history. Live and die with the results and probably go with Manziel next year either way
6. I’ve contradicted my first point, haven’t I? See, I told you I don’t know what to think.