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Browns to start quarterback Brian Hoyer in second preseason game Monday at Washington

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 14, 2014

The Browns have named veteran Brian Hoyer their starting quarterback for the team's second preseason game Monday night at Washington.

Coach Mike Pettine made the announcement Thursday.

The Browns plan to give Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel about the same amount of reps with the starters as their battle for the starting quarterback job heats up in the team's upcoming nationally televised prime-time game at FedExField.

“It’s just something right now where we are comfortable with Brian going out there to start the game,” Pettine said in a news release distributed by the team Thursday. “I think it’s a little overblown as to who the starter is going to be. The key component, as I’ve stated earlier this week, is that we are going to balance the reps. We will play it a little by ear as it goes on. We haven’t truly decided as far as the rotation, but the goal is, for when we look at the stat sheet at halftime, that they both have the same amount of repetitions, and hopefully they both get a good amount of work.”

Pettine first revealed Tuesday the plan to give Hoyer and Manziel an equal amount of snaps with the starters in the second exhibtion game. He said Thursday the starters would play for about a half.

Hoyer started the Browns’ preseason opener Saturday and worked exclusively with the first-team offense in the 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions. Manziel spent the night with the second unit. The second exhibition game will be different.

“Johnny’s going to get reps with the ones,’’ Pettine said Tuesday. “Just to me, the factor of starting the game I think is a little bit overblown in this situation because we’re going to try to balance the reps with the ones in the game. So I don’t think it was anything that, ‘Brian came in ahead.’ It’s a little overrated who trots out there for the first time.

"The bottom line coming out of the game is that they both should get close to equal reps with the ones no matter who starts."

Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains met Thursday and decided to give Hoyer the starting nod.

The same three coaches plan to pick a starting quarterback next week for the Browns' regular-season opener Sept. 7 at Pittsburgh. Pettine has said all along he wants to name a Week 1 starter before the third preseason game Aug. 23 against St. Louis.

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