Johnny Manziel: There's 'disappointment' not starting

Obviously, rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was hoping for a different answer from Browns coach Mike Pettine.

"Just being a competitor, there's a little bit of disappointment," Manziel said Wednesday after learning that veteran Brian Hoyer would get the start for Cleveland on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Pettine's choice came as a surprise after many believed Hoyer's suspect play of late would lead the Browns to anoint their electric first-round pick.

"I showed last week I can play a little bit," said Manziel, while adding: "I completely trust coach Pettine with this team, and I think he's put us in the right situation moving forward consistently."

Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas also trusts Pettine, telling reporters that switching to a rookie under center in December would imply that the Browns -- still alive in the AFC playoff picture at 7-5 -- were playing for next year. Thomas said Pettine approached him and other veterans about the decision during the week.

"Certainly Brian has put us in this position," Thomas said, "and we still feel like he's going to give us the best chance."

That depends on how you view the two quarterbacks, with plenty outside team walls convinced that Manziel represents the spark this floundering offense needs.

Hoyer acknowledged Wednesday that he was prepared to hear the boo birds Sunday if the Browns don't get off to a strong start.

"You want to go out and earn your teammates' respect," Hoyer said. "That means the world to me. ... I want to see this thing through."

Hoyer won't be seeing anything through if he doesn't correct his on-field play. After throwing six picks and just one touchdown over his past four starts, the leash is tighter than ever.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews Cowboys-Bears and reacts to Brian Hoyer earning the nod over Johnny Manziel. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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