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It’s Johnny Time: Manziel to start Week 15

Johnny Manziel Cleveland Browns
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

He may only get three weeks to show what he’s learned over the course of the season, but Johnny Manziel will reportedly start the Cleveland Browns’ impending contest against the Cincinnati Bengals. This news was first reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer.

Recall that it was also Glazer who had the news of Brian Hoyer being named starter for this past Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Hoyer thanked Mike Pettine for believing in him by putting together yet another abysmal performance littered with three-and-outs, interceptions and at least two downfield passes that would have otherwise netted six points if not for being thrown at least 10 yards past the targeted receiver. Cleveland, in turn, lost the contest 25-24 despite getting 14 points from its defense.

Hoyer was 1-3 over the last four games, posting a 1:8 TD-to-INT ratio while leading the playoff-starved Browns to one touchdown on their last 29 drives. Pro Football Focus categorized this four-game stretch as one of the worst in the history of the site’s existence. When Manziel came on in relief of an ineffective Hoyer Week 13, he promptly led an 80-yard touchdown drive that was finished off with a 10-yard rushing touchdown. On 130 preseason snaps (roughly two games), he rushed 12 times for 88 yards with another score. He is expected to provide the team with a much-needed spark while math is still on their side.

Earlier this week, a source “connected to the Browns’ quarterback situation” estimated to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that there’s a “99 percent chance” Johnny Manziel starts in Week 15. It appears that Glazer found that extra one percent.

[Related: WFNY Podcast — Serial, Manziel, and Moss]

  • Sam Gold

    Indefinite…

  • nj0

    Maybe resentment isn’t the correct word, but from the outside it never looked like the organization had much faith in him beyond being a QB place holder for 3+X games. From the sound, they never were serious about resigning him during the past twelve months. So yeah, maybe resentment is a bit much. I definitely could understand him wanting a fresh start, especially since I’m sure he believes he can start in this league.

  • saggy

    and, it seems, they were right. In the end, Hoyer was nothing but a stopgap.

  • nj0
  • mgbode

    The issue I have is that I find a bunch of the reasons against Johnny to be superfluous.

    (1) Farmer was reportedly scouting JFF early and often during the season last year and Lombardi/Banner infatuated with him. Football reasoning for drafting him, not ownership. The ownership rumor started later and I don’t really get it. Haslam hasn’t seemed to inject himself into football decisions that we have seen.

    (2) Yes, he was an exciting college player. Some of those exciting players bust in the NFL. Some don’t.

    HRD53 notes the run-around plays and bombs, which he had a couple of in college (he had Mike Evans, so he would loft a few to him because it was the smart play), but he also had many more plays where he just extended the play and then made a throw (DBs cannot cover WRs forever).

    I had Teddy Bridgewater rated ahead of JFF because of his ability to recognize defenses and throw leading passes. However, Manziel had better pocket mobility, running ability, and good accuracy on throws with good arm strength. His ability to run is good, but it’s more important that he keeps his head up and wants to pass first, which is what he did in college. Running is what you do when nothing is opening up and you are running out of time.

    Could he bust? Sure. But, no reason to fret about it right now. Let’s enjoy what he might be until he proves he isn’t.

  • mgbode

    Bum, bum, bada, bah bah
    Bum, bum, bada, bah baaah
    TOUCHDOWN!!!

  • nj0

    No argument here. Don’t think anyone can or will defend Hoyer at this point. Just saying that he sure doesn’t seem like he wants to be a career back-up if he doesn’t have to be. And maybe, just maybe, some of the ways he was treated here might stick in his craw enough that it’ll make him go somewhere else come the off-season. No value judgements here, just observing.

  • nj0

    I think if JFF was any other rookie QB over the last 20 years people would have the same (or comparable) worries. He’s a rookie and, despite what Mel Kiper will have us believe, none of us have any idea how any of them are going to play. Even the most highly touted of guys didn’t impress out of the gate.

  • nj0

    I thought about Jake Delhomme, but then remembered he never played four straight games with us. Charlie Frye never had as bad a run. Best I could find in my casual checking was this 0-4 stretch from Timmy in 2001.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/C/CoucTi00/gamelog/#33-36-sum:stats

  • RGB
  • nj0

    The real question is where does Hoyer now stand in the list of Browns v.2.0 QBs? I have him at #2 behind Kelly Holcomb.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’ve still got Couch ahead of Holcomb, so that makes him #3.
    So sad.

  • Garry_Owen

    I love that the basic opposition to Manziel boils down to “he’s small.” I’d wager that has always been the primary opposition to him playing QB. Now, I’m definitely not making any predictions, but . . . so far in his life, so good. Not everyone can be a Ryan Leaf . . .

  • Garry_Owen

    Sam doesn’t get that one. You have to go with something like this:

    http://www.threadbombing.com/data/media/2/687fea91677be9103defb8dc0b97e8b7.gif

  • nj0

    I don’t worry about height as much as mass. And he just doesn’t look big enough to play in the HGH league. I hope I’m wrong, but with him being a running QB I can’t see him lasting long.

  • nj0

    How quickly things change when you play arguably the worst four game stretch in Cleveland Browns QBing history.

  • mgbode

    and some of the busts did (RGIII)

  • mgbode

    If we want a QB with lots of mass, then I have just the guy.

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view4/20140204/4970732/jared-lorenzen-o.gif

  • Sam Gold

    See, you get me. It feels all warm and fuzzy in here now; a geek among nerds.

  • scripty

    Let’s stop with the “every player sees a bullseye on Manziel’s back” nonsense as well. Defenders want to knock every QB out on every play. Look at the shot Hoyer took on the final drive last week.

  • nj0
  • Do’h!!

  • Double the luck, double the success. Bottoms up, Ben.

  • Natedawg86

    How about a bigfoot cheesesteak with a side of fried green beens?

  • Natedawg86

    We will see. Bigger mistake, drafting Richardson or Manziel? DO NOT look at the draft that year. Luck, Foles, Tannehill, Wilson…ugh Glad we got weeden that year though

  • Natedawg86

    Hoyer has a ton of balls batted down (it seems?)

  • Natedawg86

    I hope the midget runs under someone’s legs

  • RGB
  • Brian G.

    And Hoyer is the only one with a winning record.

  • Garry_Owen

    That is to say, Hoyer is the only one that played on a team with a winning record.

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