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Johnny Manziel in Steelers' future no shock to Mike Tomlin

Mike Pettine has been as guarded as possible when it comes to the amount of playing time for Cleveland Browns rookie QB Johnny Manziel. Despite Brian Hoyer being named the starter, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin will be prepared to see the Heisman Trophy winner come Sunday.

Jason Miller

The chess match has already begun between Mike Tomlin and Mike Pettine when it comes to preparing for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field. Can the Steelers afford to spend time getting ready to see two quarterbacks, and will the preparation pay off if Johnny Manziel does make the playing field come Sunday?

Time will tell that tale, but as it seems, Tomlin isn't taking any chances.  He said as much Tuesday at his weekly press conference, telling the media he is preparing to see Johnny Football, along with Browns starter Brian Hoyer 'in some capacity' come Sunday.

"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 stated Tuesday. "We fully expect them to use him in some capacity in this football game. They didn't draft him in the 1st round to watch."

Some might suggest that the first-year Browns head coach has a leg up on the Steelers when it comes to the mental side of things and guessing when and how they will see Manziel. But Tomlin and company won't easily be fooled.

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

Seeing through that smoke screen and getting prepared for him is the right call by Tomlin. Nobody is fooled by this smoke screen the Browns are trying to pull.  You don't take a QB in the first round and not elect to play him in his first NFL game against a rival in your division.

I said before the start of training camp that Manziel would play in this game and he will. Everybody knows it, but how much will he play, now that's the question.

I don't know how many plays, but I'm willing to bet we will see Manziel start one series in each half and I'm willing to bet Tomlin is preparing for it.

I don't see Manziel having a major impact on this game unless the Steelers defensive front goes rogue and disappears come Sunday.  Perhaps Brett Keisel can light a fire under the young guys that need to play a big role in improving the run defense that ranked 27th in the league in 2013.

Manziel is going to get his shot at proving what a money player he is on Sunday. Let's hope he can't cash in vs. the Steelers.

John Phillips is a radio personality for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and a columnist for Behind The Steel Curtain. Check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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