If ESPN's Merril Hoge thinks Jadeveon Clowney is an "atrocious" football player, as he called him in April, you can only imagine what he has to say about Johnny Manziel.
Hoge appeared on Pittsburgh's WDVE-FM on Wednesday and the conversation turned to the Steelers' Week 1 opponent and their famous backup quarterback. Not surprisingly, Hoge didn't have nice things to say, but he took particular offense to Manziel's infamous draft night text to Cleveland quarterback coach Dowell Loggains, in which he vowed to "wreck this league."
Take it away, Merril:
"That didn't just burn players; it infuriates coaches. It told you, too, that he's a juvenile punk. He was like that, and he's still like that."
Hoge also said what the Browns coaches have already implied with Manziel's place on the depth chart: The rookie isn't ready to play in the NFL. He also says Manziel's career will end quickly like Tim Tebow's.
But what really galls Hoge isn't Manziel's lack of talent, but the hype that obscures it and convince everyone Johnny Football is the second coming of John Elway.
"This is the one thing that probably burns me more about our league, the NFL, than anything is when a player like Johnny Manziel is drafted based on hype and excitement, not a true football skill. He really had no business being drafted in the first round."
That's the thing that annoys Merril Hoge the most about the NFL? I mean, sure, that's somewhat aggravating, but is it any worse than other problems plaguing the league, such as non-guaranteed contracts, concussions, inconsistent punishment policies, preseason games that rip-off fans and analysts who turn their legitimate beliefs into over-the-top statements designed to get a rise out of the general public?
Even noted Manziel critic Boomer Esiason suggested Hoge's criticism was a tad harsh.
(Thanks to Mary Kay Cabot for the quotes.)