Johnny Manziel has avoided bringing the spotlight on himself for most of the 2015 NFL season, but the Cleveland Browns quarterback rightfully took a shot at ESPN analyst Merril Hoge.
Hoge, who has consistently pounded the proverbial table against the 22-year-old’s potential, ripped Manziel for sloppy footwork, poor arm strength, bad decision-making and a reckless playing style during a 31-10 loss to the New York Jets last weekend.
Hoge said Manziel’s mistakes are not correctable—first of all, that’s not true—and that Cleveland should cut him immediately, which makes this feel a little too personal than necessary.
Manziel responded on Friday, as noted by Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Manziel said:
“I think Merril Hoge needs to worry about his big neckties. Talking about Merril, he’s been that way since I decided to come out for the draft, so I guess that’s part of it, but no extra motivation or extra bump for me or anything like that. It’s just go out and play and quiet him with the way we go out and win on Sunday. That’s what we want to do.”
Manziel ultimately might prove incapable of locking down a starting position, but Hoge seems to have it out for the second-year gunslinger.
Regardless, Manziel is slated to start on Sunday while Josh McCown remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Manziel will have a chance to temporarily silence Hoge and his big neckties.