A day after Johnny Manziel gave the middle finger to the Washington bench during a preseason game, former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason said if the Browns rookie quarterback starts Week 1, "he would get his ass kicked."
Speaking on his show on WFAN Tuesday morning, Esiason said Manziel "is not even remotely close to being ready" for the Browns opener in Pittsburgh.
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"His ass would be driven into the ground. Because I’m telling you, other teams hate this guy. Hate him," said Esiason. "I’m telling you, those linebackers for the Pittsburgh Steelers are just praying to God that (Manziel) plays in Week 1. And if I were (Cleveland head coach) Mike Pettine, I would have to have my head examined to put that kid on the field."
Pettine is expected to decide between Manziel or Brian Hoyer as the Browns Week 1 starter. Hoyer started Monday night against Washington for the second straight preseason game.
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Esiason, an SI.com contributor, also addressed Manziel's off-field antics and the rookie's draft night text to the Browns, saying "I want to wreck this league together."
“Yeah, OK. You’re gonna get wrecked, son,” Esiason said. “You know, the NFL is about as unforgiving a place as there is on God’s green earth ... Whether or not you can handle it is going to be determined by your maturity level. And right now, this kid is a baby.”
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- Molly Geary