Browns giving Brian Hoyer every chance

Brian Hoyer won’t be able to say he wasn’t given a fair chance to win the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback job.

Coach Mike Pettine will give Hoyer the start for the second preseason game in a row when the Browns travel to Washington on Monday night.

The most disappointed folks will be those who wanted to see Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel take the field immediately. They will get their wish soon enough, though, as Pettine has promised Hoyer and Manziel will share reps and both will be with the starters.

This decision by the Browns seems to be a clear signal that Hoyer still has to seize the job to win it. To date, that hasn’t happened. Hoyer has not lost the job by any means -- Pettine has pointed that out as well -- but neither he nor Manziel has taken it.

As long as that happens, there will be debate, second-guessing and questioning because the Browns won’t be able to point at one player and say he won the job. With that comes controversy, additional scrutiny and increased pressure -- elements to a quarterback debate that no one with the team wants.

It’s a cycle Browns fans have seen before with no clear-cut starting quarterback victor.

But it’s the way things have gone in the preseason. At this point, it’s almost a matter of default who starts, though who the job defaults to also is a matter of debate.

Is it the rookie because he’s the future investment? Or is it the veteran because of his experience?

A week ago, it seemed like Manziel had momentum going into the preseason opener against Detroit. He was practicing well, completing more than 60 percent of his passes the final three days before the game.

But he has leveled off since, completing 50 percent in this week’s practices (all unofficial numbers, of course).

The Browns are left in a quandary of sorts, having to pick one guy even though one guy has not emerged.

Hoyer getting the second start almost makes it seem as if the team hopes he seizes the job. Pettine has said over and over that in his ideal world a rookie does not start right away.

Hoyer can win the job -- but he has to earn it.

If he doesn’t, he may see it taken from him.