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Tomlin, veterans expect Johnny Manziel to see snaps

The Pittsburgh Steelers still expect to see a dose of Johnny Manziel in Sunday's regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Despite veteran Brian Hoyer earning the start, Dick LeBeau's defensive charges are preparing for at least a few snaps from the rookie quarterback, according to coach Mike Tomlin:

"I think so," defensive end Brett Keisel said when asked if he expected Manziel to play, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think they've seen enough of him to know that he can do certain things maybe the other kid can't. I think there will be certain packages. We've had to deal with that before. We'll prepare to see him at one point or another."

Said Keisel: "We'll look at him, we'll look at some of the stuff they do differently with him in there. With a guy like that, you need to. He's got a lot of ability, a lot of hype."

Troy Polamalu told reporters that Manziel offers the Browns a "change of pace" under center, but the five-time All-Pro safety dismissed lazy comparisons to how the New York Jets attempted to employ Tim Tebow as a Wildcat operator during the passer's ill-fated swing with Gang Green in 2012.

"The thing about it, New York tried to do that with Tim Tebow a little bit," Polamalu said. "But Tebow's a guy you have to just play and play and grind out the entire game. I don't think Johnny is that type of guy. I think if Johnny came into the game, he would make some splashes, he doesn't need to get into a rhythm."

We've long expected the Browns to use Manziel situationally if he failed to win the gig. Still, the perception that he's made for designed runs in the mold of Robert Griffin III is ill-placed. Johnny Football's creative gifts arise when passing lanes vanish and pockets crumble, forcing him to improvise.

We won't see that happen naturally until Cleveland puts its first-round pick on the field for an entire game.

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