When it comes to hating on Johnny Manziel, nobody does it quite like Merril Hoge.
Soon after Manziel was drafted in 2014, the ESPN analyst called him a “juvenile punk” and said he had no business being a first-round pick. By December of his rookie year, Hoge kept up his shtick by imploring whoever drafted Manziel to be fired. And as recently as last week, Hoge said the Browns need to “cut bait” by putting an end to the Manziel experiment and bringing in someone new.
So, as you can imagine, Manziel’s newfound success is making his camp quite smug – at Hoge’s expense.
Following an up-and-down performance against the Jets in Week 1, Manziel threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans on Sunday, giving him a 133.9 passer rating. One of his touchdowns was a 60-yard scorcher that put the Browns on the board; the other came in the final minutes of the game and put the Titans to bed.
Once the game was in the bag, giving Manziel his first win as an NFL starter, his agent, Erik Burkhardt, decided to taunt Hoge by sending him a kissy face emoji.
.@ErikBurkhardt good for Johnny and the Browns looking forward to watching it on tape in between looking for a tie tomorrow!
— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) September 20, 2015
The tie reference? That’s Manziel’s doing. When asked if he fed off of haters like Hodge, he dished out his own zinger on Friday: “I think Merril Hodge needs to worry about his big neckties more than anything,” he said. “But no, no extra motivation or extra bump for me or anything like that.”
That’s a quality burn, but before you get too ahead of yourself, Johnny, learn from Russell Wilson’s mistakes. Trolls work in mysterious ways.