Around the Hill: Question of the Week: Do You Agree With the Cleveland Browns’ Choice to Start Brian Hoyer over Johnny Manziel in Week 1?

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‘JOHNNY BENCH’: After months of speculation, Cleveland Browns coach Jim Haslam announced that Brian Hoyer will be starting as quarterback over 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

Kristen Duarte, Dan Martucci

By Kristen Duarte

National Sports Editor

Johnny Manziel has frequented media headlines for his athletic ability, party boy lifestyle and ocassional outbursts on the field. Naturally, the Cleveland Browns’ decision to make Manziel the backup quarterback sparked conversations about the football star. I think that Cleveland Browns Coach made the right choice benching Johnny Manziel. The team recently announced that Brian Hoyer will start week one against the Steelers, with Manziel backing him up. “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,” head coach Mike Pettine said.

‘Johnny Football’ needs to learn how to play professional football before he can start for the Browns. He needs more experience, as he only played collegiate football for two years. After his second preseason game, tapes of the game made it clear that Manziel was seeing the open man, but not hitting him. Manziel was relying on his feet and natural instincts, but that won’t cut it in the NFL.

The learning curve is steep, and Manziel will learn and adjust in due time. All in all, Manziel simply needs more experience in the NFL before playing as a first string quarterback. The Browns made a smart decision turning Johnny Football into ‘Johnny Bench’ for the time being.

By Dan Martucci

Assistant Colgate Sports Editor

 ‘Johnny Football’ has received quite a bit of hype now that he has graduated from the realm of NCAA football and found himself in the professional league. With the 2014/2015 season is rolling around, I think that it was a very smart decision by Cleveland Browns to start Brian Hoyer and bench Manziel for the first couple of games. The skill of both of these quarterbacks aside, I think that this experience for Manziel is going to be a humbling one.

It will serve as motivation for the young quarterback to get better and allow time for him to get more adjusted to being in the big leagues. Not only that, but playing behind a veteran like Hoyer is only going to help his growth as a signal-caller. I was among those last year who were skeptical of Manziel’s decision to opt out of his last two years of college to go pro, thinking that he was not ready for the intense competition. I think that he needs more development before starting, and I hope to see Manziel grow to dominate the league like he did in college. In order to do that, he needs to sit out the first couple of games, especially since the Browns’ season begins with tough games; they play the Steelers on September 9, Saints September 14 and Ravens September 21. Only time will tell, but I think the Browns will be more successful with Manziel sitting on the bench for the first couple of games. Overall, I am looking forward to watching Manziel develop into a dominant quarterback in the league in the next couple of years; whether that is towards the tail end of this year or the next, Manziel needs to be patient and get properly adjusted to the NFL.

By Ben Glassman

National Sports Editor

 It’s rare that a player with as much hype as Johnny Manziel fails to see the field in his first season in the big leagues. Looking back on the NFL’s past few draft classes, high-profile picks like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson have all found success after earning the starting jobs for their respective teams. Manziel’s situation is certainly different, however, and I think coach Jim Haslam made the right call in choosing Brian Hoyer over him.

While Griffin and Luck saw their fair share of media coverage in 2012, no rookie in recent memory – other than Tim Tebow perhaps – has faced the level of scrutiny that Manziel has this season. Since winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M in 2012, every single move Manziel has made has been captured and analyzed on ESPN and across the sports world. By serving as Hoyer’s backup to start the 2014-2015 season, Manziel will finally be able to take a step back and simply be a member of the Cleveland Browns football team.

Based on their preseason play, it’s tough to say which quarterback actually deserves the starting gig. But for the health of the Browns organization and for the future of the club, I think giving Manziel a break and letting him grow into a more rounded, confident NFL quarterback is the right move. Brian Hoyer may not be the savior of Cleveland but having him in the starting role in lieu of Manziel will be beneficial for the team.