Berea, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Brian Hoyer will be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns to begin the season.
Coach Mike Pettine made the announcement on Wednesday morning, selecting Hoyer over rookie Johnny Manziel.
"We've maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player," said Pettine in a statement Wednesday. "Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room."
The Browns will open their season on Sept. 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Hoyer started each of the Browns' first two preseason games. He completed 6- of-14 passes for 92 yards in the opener against Detroit and was just 2-of-6 for 16 yards this past Monday against Washington.
Manziel, selected with the 22nd overall pick in May's draft, threw for 63 yards on 7-of-11 passing in the first preseason game against the Lions. He was 7-of-16 for 65 yards with a touchdown on Monday, but was also sacked three times.
"It's obviously disappointing," said Manziel after practice Wednesday. "I didn't play terrible (in the first two preseason games), but I made strides. If I would have done better in the last two weeks, it would have been different outcome. I'm going to continue to give it my all every day."
Hoyer started three games for the Browns last year, but a torn ACL in the first quarter of a Week 5 victory over Buffalo ended his season. He led Cleveland to a pair of wins in his first two starts and completed 57-of-96 passes for 615 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions in his limited action.
The Michigan State product entered the NFL with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and appeared in 13 games over three seasons with the Patriots. He then split the 2012 campaign with Pittsburgh and Arizona, making one start in two appearances with the Cardinals.