For the first time in 15 years, the Cleveland Browns have a Quarterback debate that seems to have the fans split down the middle. It’s the homegrown talent Brian Hoyer, versus the ever polarizing Johnny Football. Entering this week, Johnny Manziel has the best-selling NFL jersey of 2014. Meanwhile, Brian Hoyer’s jersey is currently not available in stores. The National pundits think that Manziel should be the starter with no questions asked. He was drafted in the first round and he was a spectacular college talent.
In case you don’t remember, Manziel beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, while on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. I have some news for you, this isn’t Alabama, this is the NFL. I appreciate that Manziel won the Heisman and beat Alabama, but I do not think he should be starting week 1 against the Steelers.
Players in the NFL are bigger, faster, and stronger than college players. Please don’t tell me that the Alabama team from 2 years ago could have beaten an NFL team. You are delusional and that is unrealistic. Rather than just hearsay and blind love for Johnny Manziel, I think that Brian Hoyer should be the week one starter and I will explain why.
Brian Hoyer is an NFL veteran. He has been in the league for 5 seasons, and he also happened to be the back up, to a guy by the name of Tom Brady. Maybe you have heard of him. Now I am not saying that being Tom Brady’s backup makes you a good QB in the NFL. However, what that does provide is a 1st hand look at how to be a winner. In the three seasons that Hoyer spent with New England, he watched Brady prepare for each season, prepare for games each week, and he watched him prepare for playoff games. The Patriots finished 1st in the AFC East in all three of Hoyer’s seasons.
Hoyer has seen the spotlight, now he may not have played in that spotlight, but he understands the preparation that is needed. Hoyer isn’t exactly battle tested, but his performance in only 3 games last season had this city buzzing. If it wasn’t for a freak ACL tear, (come on Brian, you played baseball at St. Ignatius, did you forget how to slide)? Who knows what could have become of the Browns season in 2013. I am only going to give you 1 stat from Hoyer’s brief playing time last season. 2 wins baby, 2 wins. All that matters is that Hoyer took that team from 0-2 to believing there was a chance for something special. That is all that matters, Wins and hope.
Joe Thomas was asked about Hoyer so far this preseason, and here is what he said;
“He’s a lot like Tom Brady,” Thomas said Monday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot. “When you look at the way he competes and the way he demands the most out of everybody around him, it’s no coincidence that those guys played together. (Hoyer) has a lot of those same mental attributes and that’s a great thing for a quarterback to have.”
“I think it’s that attitude and that swagger that demands respect,” Thomas continued. “And, he also goes and backs it up out on the field. He throws the ball to the right person. He’s doing things and getting everybody on the same page. That’s just as much the role of a quarterback as throwing touchdown passes.” (Courtesy of CBSsports.com)
Joe Thomas speaks very highly of Brian Hoyer, and I don’t think Thomas is the kind of guy to sugarcoat his comments. Hoyer is going to command respect from his teammates and he is going to make sure he plays and prepares the correct way. Johnny Manziel has reportedly never had a playbook. I think a few weeks or months behind Hoyer would be good for Manziel. Johhny is the QB of the future, but is letting him mature and learn from Hoyer such a bad thing?
On a side note, Hoyer’s middle name is Axel, well at least according to Wikipedia. Another person named Axel, is, Axel Rose from Gun’s N’ Rose, arguably the best rock band in history. Now I know Johnny is friends with rapper Drake, and even though I like Drake, I’d listen to Guns N’ Roses if I had to make the choice. Therefore, if GNR is better than Drake, Hoyer should start over Manziel. Dammit, that was a bunch of hearsay and blind love.
Written By Rick Giavonette
Follow me on Twitter – @CST_RickG
Photo courtesy of – http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/blogs/Brian.Hoyer.400.bills.jpg