Hoyer named Browns' starter

BEREA, Ohio -- The hometown boy will once again get a chance to lead his hometown team.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer, who grew up in North Olmsted, graduated from Cleveland St. Ignatius High School, and completed 57 of 96 passes for 615 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions in three starts last year has been named the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns' regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 7.

First-year Browns coach Mike Pettine made the announcement shortly after 8:15 this morning.

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"He was the clear leader from the beginning," Pettine said in a release from the team. "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."

Hoyer was named the starter despite struggling through the first two games of the preseason.

Overall, Hoyer, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last October, has completed eight of 20 attempts for 108 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in two starts. He has a 57.9 quarterback rating and was sacked on the very first play of Monday night's 24-23 loss at the Washington Redskins.

In the game against Washington, Hoyer completed just two of six throws for 16 yards while alternating series with rookie Johnny Manziel.

"I think Brian's been very poised," Pettine said. "I think he's handled the situation well. He's had a lot of things going on.

"I think a lot of people discount that (injury). Here's a guy coming off of a season-ending knee injury. Really, these are his first, essentially, 20-25 plays of live work back from it, and he's only going to get better."

Pettine and his coaches met Tuesday night to discuss who would start for the Browns in the regular-season opener, and prior to making his decision, he reiterated the importance of making the best choice for the good of the time.

"We want to get the decision right, so that might be the risk-reward with it," Pettine said in a conference call with the media Tuesday. "If we want to make sure that we are diligent with it and do the right thing, then, I don't want to rush it and make it for the sake of making it. Then, you're risking the chemistry and the cohesion if you have the wrong guy there.

"I think it's one of two ways: You can let it play out to see if somebody clear-cut emerges or you can go ahead and name one and get him the maximum number of reps you can. That's something we have to balance, and that's something we're going to discuss, but I agree that if it just goes too late, and it goes beyond next week, and you wait until after the fourth game, then, with really only one week worth of practice, you're definitely at risk of somebody not being ready.

"I wanted those guys to truly compete. Brian's been in the league for a good amount of time, but he really doesn't have that many starts. Even though he was a veteran, he was kind of a veteran rookie just given his sample size. Then, Manziel, obviously a true rookie, you wanted to see. There's a reason we drafted him in the first round. We wanted to see those guys go out there and compete and put them in some adverse situations and see how they reacted."


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