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Johnny Manziel dummy hung in effigy at Steelers tailgate

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The Cleveland Browns headed to Pittsburgh to get their 2014 season underway against the Steelers. For Johnny Manziel, it’s an introduction to the AFC North right off the bat.

The rivalry between the two franchises goes back to the 1950s and is among the more storied in the NFL. Combine that with a lightning rod of a figure in Johnny Manziel and you have the ingredients for, well, just about anything at a Steelers tailgate.

And that brings us to the above picture, taken by Instagram user Chase Stewart, who posted it with the caption “Welcome to Pittsburgh.”

Johnny Manziel’s NFL career is now officially underway.

Photo: Instagram/cstewy

Johnny Manziel files for ‘Johnny Cleveland’ trademark

Johnny Manziel Browns money

Johnny Manziel will need to play a lot better going forward than he did in the preseason if he wants to be known as “Johnny Cleveland,” but if that day ever comes the former Texas A&M star will be the one reaping the benefits. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Manziel recently applied for a trademark to the phrase “Johnny Cleveland.”

This is nothing new for Manziel, who has now filed for 10 trademarks associated with his brand. It’s also nothing new for professional athletes who need to protect themselves from random people profiting off their name.

Two people already tried to trademark “Johnny Cleveland” but were denied, as the term is clearly associated with Manziel. Fans have also tried to trademark “Johnny Be Good,” “Johnny Browns,” and “Money Manziel” but been denied. Manziel is still waiting for his trademark of the famous “Johnny Football” nickname to be approved.

One of the more interesting trademarks Manziel has filed for is “The House That Johnny Built,” a reference to Texas A&M’s renovated stadium in College Station. Manziel’s once-close friend Nate Finch filed for the same trademark, but the USPTO ruled that Finch would need Manziel’s permission.

Again, this is all pretty standard stuff. But if Merril Hoge finds out about the “Johnny Cleveland” trademark, I’m sure he won’t hesitate to throw it in that “juvenile punk’s” face.

Merril Hoge: Johnny Manziel is a ‘juvenile punk,’ has no business in NFL

Johnny-ManzielWe already knew Merril Hoge was not a fan of Johnny Manziel. Prior to the draft, Hoge said Manziel has “bust written all over him” and that he has no pocket presence or awareness. Now that we have seen Manziel play in the NFL, Hoge is even more down on Johnny Football.

Hoge appeared on 102.5 WDVE with Randy Baumann and the DVE Morning Show on Wednesday and ripped Manziel to shreds. The ESPN analyst referred to Manziel as a “juvenile punk” and said he has no business playing in the NFL right now.

“There is nothing that he does that transitions to the NFL,” Hoge said. “There’s not one skillset he has that you say, ‘Gosh, he’s a first rounder…’ This guy has no business playing. If they put him in, quite honestly, it’s not helping their chances to win. It’s jeopardizing their chances to win.

“He has no business being on the field right now.”

Hoge repeatedly pointed out that the Browns have given Manziel an “elementary” playbook to work with and he still hasn’t been able to handle it. He also said that Manziel infuriated coaches around the league when word surfaced that he texted the Browns telling them to draft him so they can “wreck this league” together.

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Mike Pettine won’t rule out giving Johnny Manziel snaps against Steelers

Johnny-ManzielBrian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel both played in the Cleveland Browns’ final preseason tuneup against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, and nothing happened that would make head coach Mike Pettine regret naming Hoyer the team’s starting quarterback. Manziel was once again inaccurate on many of his throws, completing just 6-of-17 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Hoyer was 6-of-8 for 68 yards in limited action.

Manziel did rush four times for 55 yards, which kept reporters wondering if he will play at all against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Pettine wouldn’t rule it out.

“It’s something we’ll discuss,” he said after the game, via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “I don’t know if that’s necessarily something just because of tonight. We’ll have discussions on how we want to game plan and how we want to use those guys. I think one of the reasons that Brian (Hoyer) and the first team did look better tonight is because we didn’t mix the reps and he got all the reps with the No. 1s. A big part of tonight was getting those guys playing together and getting that cohesion.”

Talk about sending mixed signals. If Pettine was so impressed with the way Hoyer gelled with the first-string offense, he should commit to one quarterback and not have Hoyer worrying about being able to establish a rhythm in the regular season opener. But Pettine couldn’t seem to close the door on Johnny Football, noting that he likes the contrast in styles between Hoyer and Manziel.

“I do because it’s worked in this system before where (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) has had dropback passers and then a talent like (Robert Griffin III),” Pettine added. “I think it’s a very similar situation where he can bounce back and forth between the two styles and play to the strengths of the guy that he has in there.”

To his credit, Hoyer said he would be fine with Manziel getting some snaps against Pittsburgh if it helps the team win. In all likelihood, Pettine simply doesn’t want to tip his hand. He wants the Steelers to have to prepare for Hoyer and Manziel, though it’s not like they have to plan for Peyton Manning and Michael Vick.

Given how shaky Manziel has looked and the fact that the game is on the road, I’d be shocked if he played at all against the Steelers.

H/T Around the League

Malcome Kennedy rolls his eyes about Johnny Manziel (Video)

Think Malcome Kennedy is sick of all the talk about Johnny Manziel? I’d say so.

Texas A&M laid waste to South Carolina in their season opener on Thursday and set records in the process.

Quarterback Kenny Hill went 44-of-60 for 511 yards and three touchdowns, while Kennedy led the team with 14 receptions for 137 yards in the 52-28 victory. Hill’s 44 completions and 511 yards were single-game school records.

“The offensive coordinator and Coach Sumlin, they had the right gameplan. All we had to do was execute. Easy as heck!” said Kennedy in an interview with SEC Network’s Kaylee Hartung after the game.

Kennedy also talked about the team being fueled by the talk that they wouldn’t be as good without Manziel, Mike Evans, and Jake Matthews, who were all first-round picks in the NFL draft.

Kennedy seemed especially tired of the Manziel talk. When asked if he expected such a performance from Hill, Kennedy answered confidently and even gave a classic eye roll when he mentioned Johnny Football.

Malcome Kennedy

“Oh yeah, we expected it.”

Jerry Jones: Not drafting Johnny Manziel is a ticket to more 8-8 seasons

Johnny Manziel Cowboys jersey

Jerry Jones really, really wanted to draft Johnny Manziel with the 16th overall pick in the NFL Draft earlier this year. We already established that when we heard the story about Stephen Jones having to restrain Jerruh so he wouldn’t pass in the draft card with Manziel’s name on it. But you still might be surprised to hear how badly Jones feels his team needed Manziel.

As part of a lengthy profile for ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Jones told Don Van Natta Jr. that he wanted Johnny Football to call America’s Team his own so the Cowboys could remain relevant.

“If we had picked Manziel, he’d guarantee our relevance for 10 years,” Jones said shortly after the draft. “When we were on the clock, I said if we pick the other guy — any other guy — it would be a ticket to parity, more 8-8 seasons.”

Offensive tackle Zack Martin, the player the Cowboys ended up taking at No. 16, can’t feel too great about that. Neither can Tony Romo, though Van Natta also witnessed Jones joking around with his starting quarterback about his obsession with Manziel.

“And what is amazing, if there’s anybody on this planet that could’ve handled Manziel competin’ with him …” Jones said with his arm draped around Romo’s shoulder. “This guy could handle any damn thing — this is your fighter pilot. This is your fighter pilot. This is the guy you want goin’ in, droppin’ and winkin’ at ‘em, and comin’ out, and drinkin’ beer. This is him. So he could handle it. It wasn’t a question of not handlin’ it.”

Manziel couldn’t beat out Brian Hoyer for the Week 1 starting job, so he certainly wasn’t going to beat out Romo. Still, Jones absolutely loves him some Johnny Football.

“The only way to break out is to gamble — take a chance with that first pick, if you wanna dramatically improve your team,” he added. “That’s why I wanted Manziel but I was the only guy who wanted him. I listened to everybody … And I’m … not … happy … .”

Browns and Vikings fans need to watch out — Jerruh is coming for your biggest superstars.

Johnny Manziel stars in Snickers commercial as aerobics instructor (Video)

Johnny Manziel has landed a number of endorsement deals since he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, and one of them is with Snickers. As a result, we all get to enjoy the enthusiasm of “Johnny JamBoogie.”

Snickers released a commercial this week that stars Manziel in one of those “you aren’t yourself when you’re hungry” spots that they do. Manziel basically starts out as Richard Simmons before a member of the Browns enters the room, reminds him that he’s Johnny Football and gives him a Snickers.

Whether you’re a Manziel fan or not, you have to admit that watching him “add a little jazz to it” is pretty funny:

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