Cleveland — Cleveland first-year coach Mike Pettine still hasn’t chosen his Week 1 starting quarterback, and that’s not his fault. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven’t convinced him they deserve the job.
Pettine had been expected to announce during a teleconference on Tuesday whether Hoyer, the former Michigan State starter and hometown hero coming back from knee surgery, or Manziel, the hyped rookie and former Heisman Trophy winner, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh.
But the decision has been delayed and it could carry through Cleveland’s third exhibition game on Saturday against the Rams.
“We’re not in position to make it at this point in time,” Pettine said of an announcement. “We’ll decide later if we’re ready to name a starter. We could have one named, and I’m not ruling that out. That’s something we’re going to discuss. And if we do have to wait until after the next game, so be it.
Pettine’s choice grew much tougher after Hoyer and Manziel both played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday night.
Manziel’s most memorable moment may have been when he made an obscene gesture toward the Redskins’ sideline, an act Pettine called “extremely disappointing” and will likely result in a fine from the NFL.
Manziel said he was taunted by Washington players and he responded not realizing the world was watching. Following the game, Manziel acknowledged “I should’ve been smarter.”
Pettine said that behavior — as well as the 21-year-old’s other offseason conduct — will be factored into the decision on a starter.
“We’ll take into account all things quarterbacks A to Z,” Pettine said. “So it’s body of work.”
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