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Brian Hoyer named Browns starting quarterback over Johnny Manziel

Johnny-ManzielThe Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday morning that Brian Hoyer will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 of the regular season. Johnny Manziel has been named his backup — for now.

“(Hoyer) was the clear leader from the beginning,” coach Mike Pettine said in a press release, via Around the League. “We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.”

The knee-jerk reaction is that this is a no-win situation for Hoyer. Unless Hoyer plays consistently well (a difficult task for anyone at the NFL level), Manziel is going to get a shot at some point this season. Hoyer knows his margin for error will be incredibly tight, which could add pressure and affect his performance.

Why did Mike Pettine decide to name a starter before the third game of the preseason? For starters, there have been rumors that the Browns do not want Manziel’s first NFL start to come against a potentially tough defense like the Steelers on the road. Boomer Esiason believes Manziel would get his “ass kicked” in Pittsburgh and the Browns might agree.

[WATCHThe moment Johnny Manziel finds out ESPN captured his middle finger]

Beyond the difficulty of the matchup, you have to wonder if Manziel’s infamous middle finger had anything to do with Pettine’s decision. In addition to not looking that sharp on Monday night (6-of-17 passing), Manziel made a lapse in judgment that not only made him look bad but also may have indicated he is letting opponents get under his skin.

We’d be stunned if Hoyer starts even half of Cleveland’s games this season.

Related: Johnny Manziel’s behavior reportedly cost him starting job

Boomer Esiason: Teams ‘hate’ Johnny Manziel, Steelers would ‘kick his ass’

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeJohnny Manziel is not looking to make many friends at the NFL level. He made that clear on Monday night when he flipped off the Washington Redskins sideline after one or two players apparently told Johnny Football that he’s not in college anymore. Because of the way Manziel carries himself, Boomer Esiason believes he is in for quite the beating from opponents this season.

During his radio show on WFAN Tuesday morning, Esiason said Manziel is nowhere close to being ready to start at the NFL level. He also said teams already despise the Heisman Trophy winner.

“I’m telling you right now, he is not even remotely close to being ready,” Boomer said. “If he opened as the starting quarterback in Pittsburgh in Week 1, he would get his ass kicked. And his ass would be driven into the ground. Because I’m telling you, other teams hate this guy. Hate him.”

[WATCH: The moment Johnny Manziel finds out ESPN captured his middle finger]

It’s possible that the Browns agree. Mike Pettine has yet to commit to a starting quarterback for Week 1, and there have already been reports that Cleveland is nervous about the potential of Manziel facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh for his first NFL start.

“I saw it from the Detroit Lions. I saw it last night from the Washington Redskins,” Esiason continued. “And I’m telling you, those linebackers for the Pittsburgh Steelers are just praying to God that he plays in Week 1. And if I were Mike Pettine, I would have to have my head examined to put that kid on the field. He is not even close to being ready.

“Whether or not you can handle it is going to be determined by your maturity level. And right now, this kid is a baby.”

Pettine would not say whether Manziel’s inappropriate gesture would factor into the decision to pick a starting quarterback, but it might. It should also be noted that Manziel completed just 6-of-17 passes against the Redskins, so it’s not as if he is playing particularly well.

No one at the NFL level fears Johnny Football, that’s for sure. Most of the Redskins players thought it was hilarious that Manziel flipped them off because it meant they were getting under his skin. Manziel has always used the “haters” at motivation, but that will mean nothing if he can’t outrun NFL defenders and doesn’t put in the work he needs to learn the playbook.

Brian Orakpo on Johnny Manziel middle finger: ‘It was hilarious’

Johnny Manziel flips the bird

The Washington Redskins seemed to have a lot of fun with Johnny Manziel on Monday night. At one point, they were having so much fun with Johnny Football that they inspired the rookie to flip the bird to the entire Redskins sideline. Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo thought the gesture was entertaining.

“It was hilarious,” Orakpo said, per John Keim of ESPN.com. “We were messing with him a little bit, just saying this ain’t college and stuff like that. We were having a little fun. Manziel flipped us off. It was something funny. We were all laughing on the sidelines.”

[Related: Brian Orakpo does Johnny Manziel hand gesture after sack]

Redskins safety Ryan Clark agreed that Manziel flipping the bird was “funny” and that “nobody cares.” DeSean Jackson, who for some reason thinks he has the right to get on a high horse despite some of the controversial hand gestures he has flashed in the past, sounded a bit more offended.

“Being young, things happen sometimes [and] you don’t know better,” Jackson said. “It’s unfortunate he did get caught, but he’ll learn from it. It’s nothing too nice to do. We’re out here competing with each other.”

The real reason the Redskins didn’t care about Manziel flipping them off? The Heisman Trophy winner completed just 44% of his passes (6-of-17) and was sacked three times. He did not look sharp at all, which is probably why he was frustrated enough to flip the bird. The learning curve continues for Johnny Football.

Also see: Johnny Manziel middle finger memes are fantastic

Johnny Manziel has great reaction after learning ESPN caught his middle finger (Video)

This, friends, is the reaction of one Johnny Manziel upon being informed by Cleveland Browns PR guy Rob McBurnett that ESPN televised his middle finger to the Redskins, meaning that would be a headline story for the next week.

Dude was like, “Are you effing kidding me?” It also looks like the camera cut off right before he completed an “aww f–.”

Johnny Manziel facepalm

When forced to address the issue after the game, Manziel termed it a “lapse in judgement” and “slip-up.”

God bless ESPN and their 53,000 cameras all over the field.

[Also see: The Johnny Manziel middle finger memes are great]

H/T Ian Rapoport
Video via @BrendanPorath

Johnny Manziel middle finger memes are the best

Johnny Manziel flips the bird

Johnny Manziel is making headlines after being caught by ESPN cameras flipping the bird at the Redskins bench during Monday night’s preseason game. As usual, the memes that followed were better than the actual photo.

Enjoy the roundup of awesome Johnny Manziel middle finger memes we have compiled below:

[Read more...]

Johnny Manziel flips the bird at Redskins (GIF)

GIF: Johnny Middle Finger on Twitpic

ESPN cameras love to follow Johnny Manziel all over the field, but maybe he just taught them a lesson that they need to give him a little space.

Manziel was caught flipping the bird at the Redskins bench after throwing an incomplete pass on second down during the third quarter of Monday’s preseason game between the Browns and Skins.

We have no idea if anything prompted the gesture — was there some crap talking? some dirty play? We have no idea. But we do know this kid is brazen and doesn’t give a crap. Here’s what he said about it:

“I get words exchanged with me throughout the entirety of the game, game after game … I need to be smarter than that.”

His coach Mike Pettine didn’t like the gesture.

“That does not sit well … it’s disappointing,” said Pettine.

When you hear later this week that Manziel has been fined for a gesture, you’ll know why.

Johnny Manziel flips the bird

They don’t call him Johnny F*ucking Football for nothing.

GIF via @cjzero

Brian Orakpo does Johnny Manziel hand gesture after sack (GIF)

GIF: Brian Orakpo breaks out the money celly after Ryan Kerri... on Twitpic

The Washington Redskins got a sack on Johnny Manziel in the first quarter of Monday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, and one of their players decided to mock Manziel.

Ryan Kerrigan sacked Johnny Football on the backup quarterback’s first drive of the game. Brian Orakpo decided to act appropriately.

Brian Orakpo Johnny Manziel

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this. When JJ Watt sacked Aaron Rodgers, he mocked him with the Discount Double Check belt celebration.

If quarterbacks are going to have signature celebrations, they better be prepared to have defenders throw it back in their face when they screw up or get sacked.

Here’s what Johnny looks like when he does his hand gesture:

GIF via @cjzero