Could the Cleveland Browns find a way to utilize both Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel during the regular season?
Starting quarterback Brian Hoyer and rookie backup Johnny Manziel are both capable of moving the football down the field for the Cleveland Browns, but while Hoyer is the starter, could there be a way to fit both players on the field?
Browns fans and opponents alike will find out what offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has up his sleeve in the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, Sept. 7.
"It's worked in this system before where Kyle has had drop-back passers and then, a talent like 'RG3' (Robert Griffin III)," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "I think it's a very similar situation where he can bounce back and forth between the two styles and play to the strengths of the guy that he has in there."
Although Hoyer has waited six years to get his chance to start for a team, he would embrace anything that would help the Browns win games during the regular season.
"If it helps us win, that's what it's about," Hoyer said. "This league is all about winning, so whatever we can do, put him in and if it's a package that helps us win the game, then I'm all for it. As a quarterback, you have to be the ultimate team player.
"It's kind of a unique position because there is only one of you out there. I think most people judge quarterbacks on wins and losses, not any other stats. I think, for me, I'm all about doing what it takes to help the Cleveland Browns win."
Hoyer is the pocket-style passer who led the Browns to three straight wins over the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills before a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee spoiled the rest of his season and set the team on a course where they won only one more game the rest of the season.
In contrast to Hoyer, Manziel is not afraid to gamble and extend plays by running away from defenders, which allows him to throw passes on the run several seconds after the snap and make plays, as he did with a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Nate Burleson in the preseason finale against the Chicago Bears Thursday night.
"It's something we'll discuss," Pettine said. "I don't know if that's necessarily something just because of tonight. We'll have discussions on how we want to game plan and how we want to use those guys. I think one of the reasons that Brian and the first team did look better is because we didn't mix the reps and he got all the reps with the No. 1's."
Under Shanahan's direction during the preseason, Manziel completed 30 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns, and added another 88 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
"I feel Kyle did some more things out of the pistol and the zone read to see how it would feel," Manziel said after the preseason finale. "I feel like there were some things that I missed, some things that I didn't do well and some things that I did alright at. (I'm) taking that all for what it's worth and just moving forward."