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Mike Pettine never thought to bench Brian Hoyer

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As the Johnny Manziel situation gets weirder in Cleveland, Mike Pettine continues to throw his support behind Brian Hoyer.

The Browns coach said Monday he never considered benching his starter amid a comeback win over the Falcons on Sunday despite the fact that it was Hoyer's self-described worst game of his career.

"The way he handled it was outstanding," Pettine said, speaking of the way Hoyer regrouped and led the Browns to a game-winning field goal.

At the moment, it seems Hoyer has the respect of his teammates and can lead the huddle. Disrupting what still seems to be a very delicate winning season is the last thing a first-year coach wants to do.

In the meantime, the Browns will stick with Hoyer despite a four-game stretch during which he's completed just 53 percent of his passes with a TD-INT ratio of 3-6.

"I don't think there's ever a time during a game when we think we're out of it because we have No. 6 running the show," Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins said, via The Plain Dealer. "It's not just him, the guys around him are busting their butts, but there's no question he's the leader on offense. When you have confidence in your leader and he has confidence in himself and the rest of the team then the sky is really the limit on any given Sunday."

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