"Something unforeseen could come up, but we're hopeful," coach Mike Pettine said Friday of the self-imposed deadline in the competition between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel. "I want to see if I can cut the quarterback questions down by about 90 percent. The chemistry, the continuity, I think that's important to establish that."
One day after announcing that Hoyer would start against the Washington Redskins on Monday night, Pettine had Manziel with the first team in practice as he continues to rotate players. He said "all options are still on the table" when it comes to choosing a starter for the season opener Sept. 7 at Pittsburgh.
Pettine was direct in explaining what Manziel has to do to win the job, and in assessing Manziel he also discussed Hoyer.
"He [Manziel] just needs to go out and play," Pettine said. "That's the bottom line. They both do. I've met with both and discussed the situation and they're both comfortable and they both know that it's going to be up to them when they're out there to just go out there and do their job. You never want a guy trying to do too much and come out of structure to try to accomplish something. ... Do your job and good things will happen."
Pettine said he will go by feel and not a defined expectation when it comes to having the two split reps with the starters Monday night.
"If the first drive is a long one, there's a chance we could go ahead and make the switch," he said. "I don't want to back myself into any commitment. The goal is, as I've stated, is that at the end of the half we want to have the reps close to equal."
He added it "would be nice" if one of the two stepped forward in the game to make the decision easy. If not ...
"We feel like we're in a good position," Pettine said. "We have two quarterbacks that we feel have NFL starter ability. That's why it will be a difficult decision."
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