Cleveland Browns Name Brian Hoyer Starting Quarterback

USATSI_8283734_154224518_lowres Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]

The Cleveland Browns quarterback competition was the most closely followed training camp battle in the NFL. Everyone wanted to see if rookie Johnny Manziel could beat out the returning Hoyer who enjoyed an excellent season before being injured last year.

After a preseason game in which the focus was on extra-curricular things as opposed to the performance on the field, the Browns seemed to be delaying the decision. But that is no longer the case as head coach Mike Pettine announced that Hoyer will be the Week 1 starter, via Pro Football Talk:

He was the clear leader from the beginning. 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.

Neither Hoyer or Manziel have been particularly impressive this pre-season, but Hoyer does have his three game stretch last season to fall back on.

Hoyer went 3-0 as the starter for the Browns, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes for 615 yards and five touchdowns.

The Browns scary schedule likely played a role in the decision as well. The Browns open the season in Pittsburgh and then host the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens before a Week 4 bye. All three defenses are known for frequent and exotic blitzes that a rookie is unlikely to be able to pick up.

Whatever the case may be, Hoyer will get his chance to prove he can be a starter in this league. But fans will be clamoring for Manziel at the first sign of trouble.