Johnny Manziel is already among greats. Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers were two of the most dominant quarterbacks of the past thirty years and both had to wait in line to get their chance to start every Sunday in the NFL. That’s because they were both playing behind Hall of Fame talent in Joe Montana and Brett Favre.
Brian Hoyer may not be Joe Montana, but he does have Cleveland fans asking #JohnnyWho on Twitter. Hoyer has been better than advertised for the Browns. He is on pace to toss 22 touchdowns and throw for 4,000 yards. The team is a respectable 3-2, and Hoyer’s jersey sales currently rank fifth in the NFL.
There was a quarterback controversy in the offseason on whether Hoyer or Manziel would start for the Browns. When Hoyer won the job, most just figured that it would be a matter of time before Manziel eventually took over the gig. But Hoyer is proving to be a winner. Now with Hoyer’s contract up at the end of the season, many are left to wonder if the team plans to resign the man who has gone 6-2 as a starter for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002.
— Rosie Ohio (@RosieOhio) October 14, 2014
Do you want to know how competition can help you? Exhibit A: Brian Hoyer. #JohnnyWho?
— Taylor Brenn (@taylorsbrenn) October 12, 2014
— Shaun Church (@NFLChurch) October 14, 2014
Meanwhile, Johnny Manziel is biding his time. If something should happen to Hoyer, Manziel says he is ready for action. “I feel a lot more confident and a lot more comfortable. The whole process of being under center a lot more, everything that’s involved in this offense, that just wasn’t anything that I was asked to do at (Texas) A&M. I knew it would take some time.”
Manziel has to watch fellow rookies Blake Bortles (Jacksonville) and Derek Carr (Oakland) get to start every week. However, the former Heisman Trophy winner believes that his role as a backup will be advantageous in the long term. “For me to get to sit back and watch this for however long this may be, I think it’s beneficial,” Manziel said.
How long Manziel remains a backup is more unknown than ever. And if the Browns do choose to resign Hoyer in the offseason, what will it mean for Manziel’s future?
Of course, the offseason is a long way off, and a thousand things can happen in the NFL even on a week-to-week basis. For now we know that Hoyer will start on Sunday against a winless Jaguars team in Jacksonville. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.