Sports

Johnny On Deck: Rookie QB Johnny Manziel ready to go if Browns need him in opener vs. Steelers

  • FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel listens to music before a preseason NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Browns in Cleveland. Manziel will begin his NFL career as Cleveland's backup behind Brian Hoyer. But Johnny Football could get some playing time in the opener at Pittsburgh in a special package of plays for the rookie quarterback. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel listens to music before a preseason NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Browns in Cleveland. Manziel will begin his NFL career as Cleveland's backup behind Brian Hoyer. But Johnny Football could get some playing time in the opener at Pittsburgh in a special package of plays for the rookie quarterback. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) stretches behind Brian Hoyer (6) before a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Cleveland. Manziel will begin his NFL career as Cleveland's backup behind Hoyer. But Johnny Football could get some playing time in the opener at Pittsburgh in a special package of plays for the rookie quarterback. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) stretches behind Brian Hoyer (6) before a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Cleveland. Manziel will begin his NFL career as Cleveland's backup behind Hoyer. But Johnny Football could get some playing time in the opener at Pittsburgh in a special package of plays for the rookie quarterback. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)  (The Associated Press)

Johnny Manziel's ready if the Browns need him against the Steelers.

Cleveland's rookie quarterback will begin his NFL career Sunday as Brian Hoyer's backup when the Browns open the 2014 season at Pittsburgh. Manziel knows he's one play away from getting in and he's been "tuned in" all week as the team prepares to face its longtime rival.

Manziel commented for the first time about ESPN analyst Merril Hoge's harsh criticism of him. Hoge said Manziel appeared lost in the preseason, wasn't worthy of a first-round pick and "has no business being on the field" in the opener. Hoge went as far as calling Manziel "a juvenile punk."

Manziel was "sorry" Hoge feels he's not a good player.

The former Heisman Trophy winner won't start, but there's a chance Manziel could be used in a special package of plays.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL