ESPN’s Hoge blasts Manziel on Pittsburgh radio
CLEVELAND – Former Steelers running back and current ESPN analyst Merril Hoge blasted Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel on a Pittsburgh radio station Wednesday
In a busy week with much on his plate, Browns coach Mike Pettine didn’t want to spend too much time commenting on Hoge’s comments.
“Where did he play again?” Pettine asked before the question was fully asked.
This is the second time Pettine has had to deal with a former player being critical of Manziel’s development and his offseason lifestyle. During training camp former Bengals and Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason criticized Manziel after the quarterback flipped his middle finger at the Redskins’ bench.
Hoge hasn’t seen a single quality in Manziel that he believes made him a legitimate first-round draft pick. He went on to call him a “juvenile punk” for the way he conducts himself off the field.
“If you’re the (Pittsburgh) Steelers’ defense, you want No. 2 (Manziel) to walk out on that field,” Hoge said on 102.5 WDVE. “You want him on that field. He has no business being on the field right now.”
Manziel lost the competition to start to Brian Hoyer. Manziel struggled with play calling early in camp and had trouble throwing the ball consistently well.
“I don’t want to respond to individual reports,” Pettine said. “I don’t have a relationship with him. I don’t want to be in the business of responding to individual criticism. I know in the age of sensationalism that we’re in, sometimes people that want to be heard have to make bold statements in order to bring attention to themselves. That’s a regular occurrence in this league.”
A FLASH: Former Kent State offensive standout Dri Archer came in for high praise from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Archer, a third-round draft pick this year, is third on the Steelers’ depth chart at running back. His speed and playmaking skills will be put to use returning kicks.
“Endless, other than offensive line,” Roethlisberger said of Archer’s potential contributions. “He’s kind of an all-around weapon. It’s great to have a guy on your team that can do that. You have to be careful because you put too much on a young guy’s plate. It can overwhelm him. Dri, however, seems to just not make the mistakes. He’s a smart kid. We’ve thrown a lot of things at him, and he’s really picked it up with kind of ease.”
HARD TO BELIEVE: Linebacker Karlos Dansby has been in the NFL 11 previous seasons but has never played in Pittsburgh. He was reminded that he’s probably one of a few players in the league with a non-losing record in Pittsburgh.
“I’m looking forward to this,” Dansby said. “It should be a whole lot of fun.”
CALL 911: The Browns will gamble in entering the season with just Hoyer and Manziel on the depth chart at quarterback. There is a plan in place to deal with multiple injuries.
“I won’t get into details on that,” Pettine said. “Anything that will put us at a competitive disadvantage I’ll hold on to.”
INJURY REPORT: Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant (wrist) and practice-squad linebacker Keith Pough were on stationary bikes. Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan (ankle) wasn’t on the field.
Bryant isn’t wearing a protective device on his left wrist.
“I’d love to be out there with my guys,” he said. “I’m doing everything I can to get out there as soon as I can.”