If rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel wins the starting quarterback job in Cleveland, he’ll be ready for the Steelers. And the Steelers surely will be ready for him.
Manziel addressed the issue in a Saturday session with reporters, as the question of whether Manziel or Brian Hoyer wins the Week One job dominated the day. Again.
“I don’t think that I’m ready for Pittsburgh right now,” Manziel said initially. “I’ve only played one game, but the more and more you see it, the more you get familiar with it, I think the better it will be. I think there are guys who have played in this league for a long time who can sit there after years and years of playing games and still don’t have it all figured out. It’s tricky stuff, but at the same time, we’re doing things on offense to try and throw them off their guard, as well.”
Asked whether Manziel will be ready for Week One at Heinz Field if need be, Manziel showed the savvy of a veteran.
“It’s not saying that I’m not ready or that I won’t be ready,” Manziel said. “I don’t want that taken out of context. It’s just right now the second preseason game. I’m not ready to go out and start Week One because there’s a lot of time left until that point. For me, there’s plenty of weeks left for me to learn, preseason games, get adapted to the speed. If I was the starter for Pittsburgh for Week One, then you have to be ready. You have to be ready for Week One. It’s the opening week of the season. It’s a big game.”
Yes it is. And with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau already saying that his team expects Manziel to be the starter and the Steelers honoring the late Chuck Noll that same day, it’ll be a big game for Pittsburgh, too. And when three Steelers simultaneously hit Manziel when he dives forward to end a designed run, Hoyer may need to be ready, too.
“[Pittsburgh] is so far from what I’m thinking about right now,” Hoyer said.
Pittsburgh is far from what anyone else is thinking about, too. It seems that everyone is thinking about what coach Mike Pettine will think of the performances of Manziel and Hoyer on Monday night in Washington.