The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t sure if they will see rookie Johnny Manziel on Sunday, so they’re preparing for the former Heisman Trophy winner just in case.
The Cleveland Browns officially named the veteran Hoyer as the starter this season, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he expects to see the Browns find a way to get Manziel on the field as well.
“We’ve got a great deal of respect for Johnny Manziel and his talents,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “They didn’t draft him in the first round to watch. We fully expect them to utilize him in some capacity in this football game.”
Though Johnny Manziel struggled with accuracy this preseason, he also showed a knack for making plays with his legs. He ran for 88 yards and averaged 7.3 yards per carry.
“Obviously Manziel has some unique run skills and capabilities,” Tomlin said. “I think they’re capable of highlighting that within the framework of their offense. And it’s not like Hoyer is immobile. I don’t imagine they’re going to be drastically different with either guy in there.”
“I think in the NFL that you do yourself a disservice if you don’t have two quarterbacks ready,” Pettine said on The Opening Drive on SiriusXM NFL Radio last month. “And people have asked me about potentially a two-quarterback system and having a package for him. That is on the table.”
If Manziel does play, it won’t cause too much extra work for the Pittsburgh Steelers when it comes to preparation, Tomlin added.
“I think all of the things they ask [Manziel] to do Brian Hoyer is fully capable of doing it, and I’m sure they’re going to do it with him as well,” he said. “I just think when you’ve got a talent like Johnny Manziel, you’re going to get him on the field and help him grow and develop even as you get into the regular season. I don’t think necessarily his presence in the game is going to dictate a difference in schematics.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers will find out if they get to see Johnny Manziel when they take on their AFC North rival on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.