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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the tag “Brian Hoyer”

If not Brian Hoyer, then who?

browns hoyer switchIt has been an interesting 12 months for Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer.

At this time last year, Hoyer was working hard (a trait that is apparently a foreign concept to some quarterbacks on the roster) to rehabilitate from an injury to his ACL that stalled his 2013 season after just three starts.

As the calendar pages turned during 2014, Hoyer’s NFL future took more twists and turns than the famed Nürburgring in Germany.

The NFL Draft brought Johnny Manziel to town, with many mistakenly believing the Browns had to start the rookie from Texas A&M from day one.

Head coach Mike Pettine had other ideas, though, and named Hoyer the starter late in the preseason. Hoyer would reward his coach’s faith by leading the Browns to the top of the AFC North after 11 games. His play brought with it talk of a contract extension and the belief that the Browns had finally solved their quarterback quandary.

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Johnny on the spot

johnny manziel starterThe Cleveland Browns made it official earlier today – it’s time for Johnny Football to take over.

In announcing the switch, head coach Mike Pettine challenged the entire offense to step up its game over the final three weeks of the season.

“The move was made because of the lack of performance at the (quarterback) position over the last four games … but (the offensive players) have to understand it was as a unit,” Pettine said. “If we don’t pick up our play around the quarterback, we’d be extremely foolish to expect different results.

“I challenged the team today. We all share in the joy of a win; we all share in the agony of a loss. Everybody has to pick up their play as we head down the stretch.”

We have to preface everything we are about to write by pointing out that this is 100 percent the correct call. Brian Hoyer, at least as far as this season is concerned, has hit his ceiling as the starting quarterback for the Browns and a change needed to be made.

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What if we told you …

browns lose billsWhat if we told you that on Sunday in Buffalo, the Cleveland Browns did the following?

  • Held the Bills to just 287 yards of total offense.
  • Limited the Bills to two-of-15 on third down, with the first successful third-down conversion coming with seven minutes left in the game.
  • Intercepted Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton twice.
  • Held Buffalo wide receiver Sammy Watkins to three receptions for 11 yards.
  • Held the Bills to just a lone offensive touchdown.

You would probably say that the Browns won.

Now what if we told you that Johnny Manziel played almost the entire fourth quarter – and it wasn’t because Brian Hoyer was injured?

That was the case on Sunday as the Browns fell to the Bills in yet another disappointing loss to a team that the Browns really should have beaten.

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Browns earn a second chance at a season to remember

browns beat bengals 1There are no guarantees of getting a second chance in the NFL, but when they occur teams need to be ready to capitalize on them.

That’s the situation the Cleveland Browns now find themselves in after their complete beat down of the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.

The primetime win announced to the nation that the Browns are for real this year and tops the team’s previous big win of the season against Pittsburgh.

The win against the Steelers on Oct. 12 had the team and its fans believing a better day was finally here, but the Browns followed up that big day by falling flat the following week against Jacksonville.

Now the Browns have earned themselves a second chance after winning for the fifth time in the past six games.

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When just as important as if Browns switch quarterbacks

browns hoyer jaguarsWhat a difference a few days can make.

This time last week the Cleveland Browns were high on everyone’s radar after a convincing beating of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the debate was on about how quickly the team should sign starting quarterback Brian Hoyer to a new contract.

Fast forward one week, and one horrible performance by the team and Hoyer against the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars and the narrative has changed dramatically.

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What if Brian Hoyer had never been injured?

what if brian hoyerThe Cleveland Browns are currently preparing to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third game of what could be a season-defining five-game stretch.

But while the team’s focus in on the Jaguars, there is a potential franchise-altering decision looming on the horizon: namely, what to do with quarterback Brian Hoyer?

Hoyer will be a free agent after this season and both the Browns and Hoyer’s representatives are trying to figure out just what Hoyer’s value is to the team.

The subject came up this week after a story from Jason Cole at Bleacher Report came out stating that Hoyer would not resign with the Browns as long as fellow quarterback Johnny Manziel remains on the roster.

Hoyer wasted little time in debunking the story.

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The legend of Brian Hoyer continues to grow

browns beat titansThe Cleveland Browns were back at it again on Sunday in Tennessee, turning the improbable into the probable in beating the Titans in what has quickly turned into the most entertaining and unexpected season since 2007.

And with the victory, the legend of Brian Hoyer continues to grow.

There is plenty of love to go around after the Browns pulled off what was not only the biggest comeback in franchise history (surpassing a 1966 win against the New York Giants), but also the biggest road comeback in NFL history.

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Brian Hoyer blowing up national media’s storyline

GTY 454864228 S FBN USA PACleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer not only blew up the Pittsburgh Steeler defense in the second half of Sunday’s night, he also blew a big hole in the national media’s narrative on the Browns quarterback situation.

With the national media pining away for Johnny Manziel – CBS showed him almost as much on Sunday as the actual game – Hoyer refused to play along in leading the Browns to 24 second-half points and almost pulling off the franchise’s biggest comeback since 1966. (Funny, we don’t remember seeing many shots of Brandon Weeden on Sunday night while Tony Romo was crapping the bed against San Francisco.)

Hoyer’s performance has started to slowly turn the tide, with both USA Today and  Don Banks at Sports Illustrated acknowledging that Hoyer’s performance only solidified his hold on the starting job.

The best part is where Hoyer was among a group of veterans that challenged the team at halftime to get its act together.

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Browns once again find themselves in a QB quandry

browns redskins manzielIt is only preseason. It is only preseason. It is only preseason.

We have to keep reminding ourselves of that after watching the Cleveland Browns on Monday night against Washington.

The running game didn’t look all that bad, as Ben Tate and Terrance West combined to average 4.5 yards per carry, which compared to last season’s baggy pants farce is Pro Bowl-caliber work.

The defense had three interceptions and was active all over the field – at least when the officials weren’t throwing a flag. (The Browns were penalized 10 times).

Other than that, nothing much went right, especially with quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel.

And that, Browns fans, leaves the team with a major problem on its hands.

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5 Questions in 5 Days: Hoyer vs. Manziel – Part 2

browns training hoyer manziel 5Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel?

The answer to which of the two will be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns is one that head coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan simply have to get right if they are to be part of the regime that finally turns this franchise around.

Manziel is one of the most-dynamic college players we’ve seen in a long time. We watched his games last fall at Texas A&M and were consistently entertained. But at the same time we couldn’t help but worry that we wouldn’t be able to take watching him play 16 times a year for the Browns.

That all changed in May when the Browns selected Manziel in the first round of the NFL Draft. Now he’s part of Cleveland – for better or worse.

If Manziel can translate his college game to the NFL level he has the talent, competitiveness and presence to lead this team from the NFL wilderness back to a level we haven’t seen since the late 1980s.

The decision facing Pettine and Shanahan is not a question of if Manziel will be the starting quarterback, but a question of when. If this was Minnesota the answer would be a simple one. With a roster that includes Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel at quarterback, there is little reason for the Vikings to not turn the team over to rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Which brings us to Brian Hoyer.

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