What's Buzzing:

Shutdown Corner

Pittsburgh Steelers preparing as if Johnny Manziel will play Sunday

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner
Steelers take on familiar face in Browns' Hoyer

View photo

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) warms up as Brian Hoyer (6) watches before a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The Cleveland Browns have named Brian Hoyer their starting quarterback. But that doesn't mean Johnny Manziel can't play in Week 1.

Just to be safe, the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for both, head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. Tomlins expects the Browns to play both quarterbacks "in some capacity" when the Steelers host the rival Browns in Sunday's season opener, via USA Today Sports.

[ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!]

"We have a great deal of respect for Johnny Manziel and his talents and what he did to get to this point in his career," Tomlin said. "We fully expect them to utilize him in some capacity in this football game. They didn't draft him in the first round to watch. ... We understand that.

"So we're going through the process of preparing ourselves for both guys."

Manziel lost the starting competition with a so-so preseason performance, although Hoyer was not much better until the battle had been won. And even though the more mobile Manziel offers different skills than Hoyer does, Tomlin said he doesn't believe that his defense will be set back by having to prepare for two different styles.

"Obviously, Manziel has some unique run skills and capabilities I think they're capable of highlighting," Tomlin said. "I don't believe that because I believe all the things they're going to potentially ask (Manziel) to do Brian Hoyer is fully capable of doing it as well.

"I just think when you have a talent like Johnny Manziel, you're going to get him on the field and help him grow and develop."

That would be fascinating to see. Would it undercut Hoyer if Manziel came in and rallied the Browns offensively? Could Manziel overtake Hoyer if he dramatically outplays him on the field? And how early — if at all — might Manziel enter the game?

Browns head coach Mike Pettine had hinted at the possibility of a "Manziel package" where the first-round pick moonlights for a series or two with plays that highlight his ability to make plays on the fly and freelance when things break down around him.

The Steelers have a rookie starting at linebacker for the first time in more than a decade in Ryan Shazier. It could be interesting to see if Shazier, with his great speed and range, is asked to "spy" Manziel if he does make an appearance in Sunday's game. 

Suddenly, what might have been a somewhat blah game now has some added intrigue.

- - - - - - -

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Australia quick Pattinson fit but rules out test return

      Australia quick Pattinson fit but rules out test return

      Australia fast bowler James Pattinson is ready to return to cricket next month after being out of action since February due to injury but has ruled out playing tests this year. The right-arm quick returned from injury in the second test against New … More »

      Reuters - 18 minutes ago
    • Klopp hits back at doubters for questioning Liverpool defence

      Klopp hits back at doubters for questioning Liverpool defence

      (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has said that he is losing respect for critics who continue to question his side's defensive frailties. Liverpool overcame a nervy finish to beat West Brom 2-1 on Saturday, but Gareth McAuley's late goal … More »

      Reuters - 20 minutes ago
    • Bangladesh hope Chittagong marks a test turning point

      While their limited-overs side have already savoured victories over the world's top sides, Bangladesh cricket hopes their narrow defeat to England over five days in Chittagong will be a watershed moment for the test team. Bangladesh sent England … More »

      Reuters - 48 minutes ago
    • Finnish minnows IFK Mariehamn win league title

      Finnish minnows IFK Mariehamn hailed their team spirit and work ethic after capturing a stunning first league championship in a thrilling climax to the season. Dubbed "mini-Leicester" by local media in a salute to last season's surprise English … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
    • Wilshere keen to make most of loan spell at Bournemouth

      Wilshere keen to make most of loan spell at Bournemouth

      (Reuters) - Jack Wilshere said he was stepping outside his comfort zone when he joined Bournemouth in August but feels eager to make major strides during his loan spell after a string of injuries stunted the midfielder's progress at Arsenal. Once … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago