BEREA, Ohio—The time has come for Brian Hoyer.
Hoyer enters the 2014 season as the Browns starting quarterback. This is the first time in his NFL career that Hoyer starts a season as a starting NFL quarterback. Hoyer has started just four games in his career, three with the Browns in 2013 before he tore his ACL and was lost for the season.
Mike Pettine said that Hoyer will not be on a short leash.
“I qualified that and said quarterback is the one position where you can’t be as quick on that trigger,” Pettine said. “When we met to discuss him being the starter, it was, ‘Hey, this is your team. This is your offense.’ That we have his back. That we didn’t go with him and just say, ‘Hey listen, we might do this and see how it goes. Then after a series, we might switch it back.’
“I don’t think you can do that at quarterback,” he said. “I know you can’t do that at quarterback. Some others, it’s different. You do want your guys running a little scared. There’s no better motivator than competition. I just think any time you feel secure and comfortable at a spot, you’re not going to perform as well, and if you’re not performing well because there’s competition, you probably don’t have the makeup to be in the NFL to begin with. Brian is a guy who – I had a good conversation with him – he knows it’s not going to be a quick hook, but he also knows that in the long-run, this is a production business. You have to produce or there will be a change made, but I don’t think he’s going into this game feeling that. I think he’s fully focused on Pittsburgh and being productive.”
Hoyer said he appreciates the confidence the coaching staff has in him.
“Yeah, I mean I think that was when he named me the starter, and he said, ‘Look, I just want you to go out and be yourself and play and not worry about anything else,’ which I think for me, that’s how my mentality is regardless, Hoyer said. “This is something I’ve worked towards, and I’m not looking back. It was good to hear him say it, but had he said it or not, I think my mentality would be the same.”
Hoyer was asked if he thinks he can give the Browns the lift at quarterback that he seemed to do in 2013.
“I think the difference is this year, I hope that I brought that energy from Day 1,” he said. “I think that it shows. You see our tempo in and out of the huddle. You can see the different cadences we use, whatever it might be, and kind of just the sense of urgency. I think that’s always been engrained from me college, but especially my time in New England. Have a sense of urgency and get there and be the attacker. Don’t let them attack you and then have to respond.”
Bryant said he is “day-to-day”. He said that he thinks he might be able to play Sunday.
“It’s getting better every day.”
Who’s No. 3?: By releasing third QB Rex Grossman, the Browns currently have just two quarterbacks on the active roster with QB Brian Hoyer and QB Johnny Manziel.
Pettine declined to answer who would be the emergency quarterback if the Browns go into the first game with just the two active.
“We have a plan but will hold off (talking about it).”
Undrafted rookie free agent QB Connor Shaw is currently on the practice squad.