Yeah I don't think even Manziel can start against the Steelers and win in his first NFL start. At this point, Manziel would be the easier of the two to face.
Brian Hoyer grew up in Cleveland and played high school ball just about a beer bottles throw away from Cleveland Stadium. If someone is going to heat up the rivalry this guy is sure gonna give it his all.
Originally Posted by papillon
Maybe Manziel is more talented than Hoyer, but yeah, I'd rather see the inexperienced, 20-dollar-bill-rolling rookie than a guy who would love beat the Steelers on their own turf.
Not just easier, but more exciting too. I kind of wish he was starting but it looks doubtful, unless he tears it up so much in preseason that he leaves them no choice. I doubt it, being that CLE is practically chastising him every week.
Originally Posted by Shawn
They'll probably implement a "Johnny Football package" of plays he knows well for him to come in and run, even if they are starting Hoyer.
I would guess so as well.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
Id be surprsied if hes not the starter week one
Dick LeBeau expects Johnny Manziel to start in Week 1
By Chris Wesseling
Around the League Writer
Published: Aug. 4, 2014
Johnny Manziel finally mixed in with the first-team offense on Monday. That's exactly where the Cleveland Browns' Week 1 opponent expects the rookie to stay.
"I'm expecting Manziel to be the starter," Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told Cleveland.com on Monday. "That's what I'm expecting. What he did in college is not an accident. He did it often enough against good teams.
"I think he is going to be a handful for all of us. You watch all his games and he created plays, he made plays, he kept plays alive. He has the ability to see people and the touch with the football to get it in there late in the down. I think he will be successful at this level."
LeBeau isn't alone. Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted Monday that he has yet to speak with a Steelers player who believes Manziel will not be under center in the season opener.
That sentiment is picking up steam in Cleveland as well.
Stationed at Browns camp, NFL Media analyst Deion Sanders gave Manziel the edge in the competition due to his ability to make plays outside of the pocket, which becomes a necessity if Josh Gordon misses a significant portion of the season under suspension.
"Johnny's gonna earn it," Sanders said of the starting quarterback job.
This battle is just heating up. As general manager Ray Farmer said last week, it will be decided in preseason games.
The only thing that will keep Johnny from being a special QB in the NFL is Johnny. I believe he is his own worst enemy. The more I hear the more I am concerned about Johnny the man.
BRING ON JOHNNY FOOTBALL
Aug 06, 2014
Dick LeBeau expects Johnny Manziel to QB the Cleveland Browns in the opener. His defense will be ready for anything.
LATROBE – If the Cleveland Browns open the season with Johnny Manziel at quarterback, Dick LeBeau will have his defense ready for him.
And if Manziel goes up-tempo, the Steelers’ defensive coordinator believes his unit will be ready for that, too.
“Well we better be ready,” LeBeau said of up-tempo offenses in general during a wide-ranging interview Wednesday.
“Nobody huddles in football, not even in high school football. We’ve been working on it from Day One in the coaching sessions, so it’s not going to be something they’re not comfortable with. But we’ll have to prove that we can execute and handle it, because you’re going to get it. You’re going to get it week-in and week-out.”
LeBeau believes his team is built for it, now, after spending the last few off-seasons acquiring talent at the linebacker and safety positions, where the Steelers have hybrid types who can stay on the field and defend either the pass or run with equal skill.
Mike Mitchell is one example of those recent additions. So is Ryan Shazier. And the depth chart is populated with reserves built for the modern game, as well. Mighty mite safety Shamarko Thomas hits like a little linebacker, and thin-but-strong linebacker Terence Garvin is called “Big Safety” by the coaching staff because of his coverage skills.
But there must be key pieces if a defense is going to plant hybrids throughout, and the Steelers’ centerpiece is Lawrence Timmons.
Here’s LeBeau on his new buck inside linebacker and probable captain:
“Lawrence is an amazing guy,” LeBeau said. “He played the open inside backer (mack) for us all along. We had some injury problems a couple years ago and he went to outside and did a great job for us outside. He played the inside in the third-down defense. And when we had a problem at the strong side, he went to the strong side (buck). He’s a very versatile guy.
“He really looks at home, to me, on the strong side. I think those two guys are going to give us a lot of speed at a position that doesn’t necessarily feature speed. We’re going to be fast at the inside backer.”
That other speedy inside backer is, of course, Shazier, the first-round draft pick who was moved into the starting lineup the first day of rookie minicamp and hasn’t looked back.
LeBeau is also high on the second-round pick, Stephon Tuitt, who’s been working at first-team LDE with NT Steve McLendon out the past three days.
“He’s an exceptional athlete for his size, and he can run,” LeBeau said of Tuitt. “Even though I knew he could run, when I see him in person I am surprised at his endurance and his speed and quickness. I mean, I don’t know if I’ve seen a guy that big move like that. Now, does that mean he’s going to be a great player? No, it doesn’t. There are a lot of other things that come in there. He seems willing to try to acquire that knowledge and those skills, so we’ll see where he goes.
“Again, these young guys, I don’t want to overload the expectations, but at this stage in the training camp, they’re doing a good job.”
So there’s speed up front, speed at linebacker and with the acquisition of Mitchell this past off-season speed in the back end. That ought to help contain Manziel – the rookie quarterback with the Browns – in the opener.
LeBeau was asked why he expects Manziel to start over Brian Hoyer.
“He impressed me with his college career” LeBeau said. “He makes plays, and he was playing against some real talented athletes in that conference (SEC) on defense, too. What I could see, they were getting up there around 45, 50 points a game, so your quarterback’s gotta be doing something right. And he can keep the play alive.
“I’m not a coach in Cleveland, and I don’t know what they’re going to do, I’m just telling you what I’m doing.”
NOTES – Shazier has his right knee wrapped, but his injury is still called “a boo boo” by Mike Tomlin, so Shazier (boo boo), Steve McLendon (concussion) and Jarvis Jones (groin) continued to miss practice on Wednesday. Lance Moore, Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert were off. ... Full practice details first thing in the morning.
Not all the Browns player's are overly impressed yet. This was out of SI:
“I haven’t seen anything that makes me go, ‘Wow,’ ” one player said.
Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, 28, while praising Manziel’s competitiveness and swagger, also said: “I don’t care what the job is, you can tell the difference between a 28-year-old and a 21-year-old.”
I checked with players early in camp and then weeks later, and the message was the same. Manziel’s skill level hasn’t stood out.
It’s not Manziel’s personality that’s the issue, it’s his physical ability. According to at least a few Browns players, Manziel has looked like a mere mortal, and not the football savior some have painted him to be.