CLEVELAND — Browns coach Mike Pettine isn’t quite ready to name his starting quarterback. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven’t convinced him they deserve the job.
Pettine had been expected to announce Wednesday whether Hoyer or Manziel, the hyped rookie, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh during a teleconference.
But the decision has been delayed and could carry through Cleveland’s third preseason game on Saturday, Pettine said.
Cleveland’s coaching staff will meet Wednesday night and could then choose a starter.
“We’ll decide later if we’re ready to name a starter,” Pettine told reporters. “We could have one named, and I’m not ruling that out. That’s something we’re going to discuss. And if we do have to wait until after the next game, so be it.
“We’re going to weigh everybody’s opinion. I’m very clearly on record: I would like to make a decision, and that’s still very much a possibility.”
Pettine’s choice grew tougher after Hoyer and Manziel played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday night. Manziel also made an obscene gesture toward the Redskins’ sideline, an act Pettine called “extremely disappointing” and will likely result in a fine from the NFL.
Pettine said Manziel’s actions on national TV will be factored into the decision on a starter.
“We’ll take into account all things quarterbacks A to Z,” Pettine said. “So it’s body of work, it’s everything from the time they set foot in the building back in the spring up until today.”
Manziel said he was taunted by Redskins players and he responded by holding up his middle finger. Following the game, Manziel acknowledged “I should’ve been smarter.”
Pettine has preached to his players about staying poised and Manziel didn’t show any in responding to the trash talk he was hearing from Washington’s defenders and bench.
“We talk about ‘Play like a Brown,’” Pettine said. “We want our guys to act like a Brown and we want this to be a first-class organization. We have hundreds, thousands of kids come to our training camp practices and look up to our players and that type of behavior is unacceptable.
“It’s something that’s part of football that you have to maintain your poise and your composure, especially at that position and he should know better than anyone that all eyes are on him. I know it’s something that will be addressed by the league and will be addressed internally.”