Browns quarterbacks Brian Hoyer (pictured) and Johnny Manziel struggled in a 24-23 loss to the Washington Redskins Monday.
"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
After watching his quarterbacks struggle through a 24-23 loss to the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Monday night, first-year Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine agreed with the famous quote from Scottish poet Robert Burns.
Intending to name his starting quarterback one day after the second preseason game in an effort to give either veteran Brian Hoyer or rookie Johnny Manziel enough time to prepare for the regular-season opener at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 7, Pettine was less than definitive that a decision would be made soon.
"All of the options are still on the table," Pettine said. "It's still something we'd like to do, but we'll see. Whoever gives us the best chance to win the opener will be the starter.
"Somebody has to be ready for the opener."
Hoyer completed just two of his six attempts for 16 yards, while Manziel went seven of 16 for 65 yards and one touchdown, an eight-yard score on a short pass to running back Dion Lewis for the Browns' first offensive score of the preseason.
"It probably couldn't have been any worse," Hoyer said. "It's disappointing. It's embarrassing. We started off poorly, and it never really changed after that.
"There's no excuses. The first play was messed up, and then, we had a penalty. Then, it just kind of spiraled out of control, and we were never really able to get things going. It's unfortunate, especially with the situation that we're in. You've just got to look at yourself, grade yourself really hard, and get better. That's the only thing you can do."
Much like Hoyer, Manziel was not happy with his play in the loss.
"I don't feel I was incredibly decisive coming out the first few drives," Manziel said. "That's where I feel I've been my best the past couple weeks of practices, picking what side I'm going to, sticking with that, and really throwing the ball. I felt like I came out in the earlier series and tried to force everything and not let it fly like I should have. I need to get better at that and throw the dang ball.
"I don't think I did a very good job. I think there was a lot of room for me to improve, some throws that I wish I would've had back. That (decision is) really up to Coach Pettine and the higher powers more than it is me. I just need to come in every day and continue to try and get better."
According to Pettine, regardless of whether Hoyer or Manziel is in the game, the formula for success remains the same.
"We need to score touchdowns," said Pettine, whose offense has managed just two touchdowns in two preseason games. "We need to move the ball. We need to get first downs. I think we've got to watch the tape. I don't know. Every play tells its own story. We'll have a much better evaluation when we get back."
Fifth-year cornerback Joe Haden added, "That would be a good thing if you had one guy that you know is your quarterback. At the same time, it is a business, and we know what it is. We've got Manziel. We have Hoyer. We have a quarterback competition, so we're just going to take it in stride, and hopefully, by the time the regular season starts, we've got a guy."