Manziel apparently gets on the nerves of his NFL brethren, too. As he prepares for his first start on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns are aware that the Cincinnati Bengals' defense might have a little more juice for the brash rookie quarterback.
Back in preseason, the Washington Redskins taunted him until he eventually made an obscene gesture, something he was fined for. Browns coach Mike Pettine expects Manziel to get more of the same.
"I'm sure I'll talk with him as the game gets closer," Pettine said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "It's something he's faced. That's not anything new coming into the NFL for him. He's been a target probably from the first day he stepped under center in college. I'm sure he knows, but it'll be reiterated."
Then there's the money sign. Manziel did it in college, did it when he was drafted and did it when he scored his first touchdown against the Buffalo Bills a couple weeks ago. And NFL defenders like flipping those celebrations around on players (and, in Stephen Tulloch's case, even discount double check yourself into an ACL tear), and that's certainly going to be the case for every Bengals defender who gets to Manziel.
"Everybody's gunning for him," Pettine said. "Everybody wants a sack. I guarantee that anyone who sacks him will stand over him and give the money sign. The best thing is not to get caught up in it. He has to go out and execute. When a play is over, it's over and you have to move on to the next one."
Manziel has seemingly taken things in stride this week, cracking jokes about not going to a Cavaliers game this week after drawing some attention for that last week ("There was no Cavs game on a Tuesday this time," he said, according to the AP) and Cincinnati coachMarvin Lewis' "midget" comment ("It's absolutely funny," he said. "I'm not going to sprout 5 inches over the course of the week.").
"I'll try to provide a spark and be smart while doing it," Manziel said.
We've waited a long time to see Manziel get his shot, which makes Sunday's game a must-watch. Defenders have also waited a long time to get their shots on Manziel.