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Sports


Pluto: Like years past, Browns quarterback competition is chaos
Commentator Terry Pluto says the Browns need to end the quarterback competition and work on continuity as the regular season nears
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Pluto says QBs Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel looked rattled, frustrated and took several steps back in terms of performance in the second preseason game.
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The Cleveland Browns looked sloppy in their second preseason game of the season this week, as both quarterbacks struggled to complete passes. Fans and the media have been closely watching the quarterback battle between Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel and coach Mike Pettine is expected to name a starter soon. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks to Amanda Rabinowitz.

LISTEN: Pluto on ending the Browns QB competition

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Terry Pluto on what veteran Shawn Marion brings to the Cavs

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A QB competition chaos
The Browns quarterback competition is familiar in Cleveland. And Terry Pluto says the competitions never work out well. 

“I remember one year, it was agonizing how coach Eric Mangini in 2009 was counting every snap and every nod and every wink of Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn and making sure everything was just even," Pluto says. "By the time the season started, he went with Quinn and three games into it, he had switched to Anderson and it just seemed like neither guy was prepared. We saw this with Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb and it just goes on and on.”

Pluto says what's more even more discouraging is that Hoyer and Manziel looked considerably more disorganized from the first preseason game to the second. He says that's because the team has been running two different offenses to try to accomodate each quarterback. Manziel plays more from from the shotgun (he stands about five yards behind the center, the center throws the ball back to him in the air and he runs around or throws it). Brian Hoyer is more of a traditional quarterback, in which he’s under the center and takes a hand off. "Now, they mix it up, but still, they’re running different things and frankly, they’re running nothing," Pluto says.

Time to pick a starter
Pluto says coach Mike Pettine needs to make a decision at quarterback and stick with it. "I would probably pick Hoyer because they won two games with him [last season] and begin to tailor the offense around him," Pluto says. "You tell him, ‘Alright, look, you won a couple games last year, you did some thing right, now just get in there and play that way, and we’ll help you.’ And then, you take Manziel in a room and say, ‘Look, just be ready. Every year, we need two quarterbacks, if not three in this town, you’re time is coming. Learn this stuff, in the meantime just settle down and grow up a little bit.’”

What does it mean going forward?
Terry says the Browns didn’t help themselves by failing to get some receivers in the draft or in free agency, espeically when they knew receiver Josh Gordon is facing a possible season-long suspension for drug abuse. “

Gordon looked totally disinterested in that preseason game, whether he thinks he’s going to get suspended and he just was distracted, but it wasn’t just the quarterbacks. They trotted out a couple other receivers, they were just total non-entities. Basically, you’ve seen the first string offense has yet to get in the end zone. They didn’t get in the end zone at the Univeristy of Akron, not in Detroit and not in Washington."

“The defense are not showing you all their cool and tricky stuff. So, the Browns first-string offense is going against vanilla or basic defenses and they can’t get in the end zone. And that to me is a very big concern. They’ve always been in the bottom five to ten percent in the league in scoring points and it looks like that’s going to happen again.”

What does Pettine do this week?
“Pettine is the third head coach in three years. offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, is the fifth in seven years. All this change, all this upheaval, maybe they just have to simplify some of this stuff. And it’s so discouraging, Browns fans are so excited about this year. And, offense is exciting, but this type of football they’re playing is offensive because it’s just so hard to watch."


Related WKSU Stories

Pluto asks: What's not to like about the Progressive Field deal?
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pluto advises fans: You can't judge much from early camp
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pluto: Browns open camp with sizzle; Indians desperately need to get hot
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pluto on Josh Gordon, LeBron James and the big decisions they face
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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