Is Manziel’s Time Up in Cleveland?

Johnny Football came into the NFL with all the attention and allure of any player in recent memory. His ability in college to make amazing plays out of nothing, especially in the SEC, is what made Johnny such an icon and helped him earn the honor of the Heisman trophy. But once he stepped into the NFL, even more eyes were drawn to him because no one knew how he would perform. Experts and analysts made countless comparisons to Manziel. Gil Brandt compared him to Doug Flutie. Daniel Jeremiah made several characteristic based comparisons saying he has the ability improvise like Romo and the build of Jeff Garcia. But after playing basically 2 NFL games this season (7 quarters), the only comparison that can be made to Manziel currently is a dumpster fire.

Manziel and Hoyer competed in the preseason for the starting job with Hoyer winning after both had mediocre performances in their respective starts. Manziel also had his first immature moment of the season when he was caught flipping off the Redskins sideline after they began chirping him. His immaturity didn’t end here, but it didn’t start here either.

Before he was named the starter at Texas A&M, Manziel was arrested for a fight outside a bar in 2012. Then he had his Heisman season and became the Johnny Football we know today. Along with his on the field success, Johnny Manziel was photographed at countless parties, clubs, events, etc during his time at College Station. While in college he experienced several other troubles including being sent home from the Manning Passing Academy, being heckled at frat parties, and a half game suspension for alleged autograph sessions. More sketchy photos were released from this point including one that appears to be Johnny with a rolled up dollar bill in a public bathroom. He has shown he is unable to stay out of the media spotlight and the clubs and even up until recently was again involved in a scuffle with a fan at 2am. Manziel has salvaged any positive public image by saying all the right things during news conferences and he vows to focus next season but has not shown any real signs that this is truly the case.

When it comes to his one field play JFF didn’t show much promise either. Hoyer was the starter for the first 13 games of the season with a few impressive performances; but typically was managing games enough for the Browns to be in most of their games late. But after a several bad games in a row where he threw 7 interceptions and 0 touchdowns, he was benched for Johnny Manziel.

Manziel’s first real game experience came in Week 13 against the Bills. Manziel entered the game late in the 4th quarter. He immediately led a decisive touchdown drive capped by an 11-yd touchdown run by Manziel. Yet he did not start the following game against the Colts, where again Hoyer threw two interceptions and no touchdowns in a Browns loss. Manziel was finally given his first start in Week 15 against the Bengals. This game may go down as one of the worst starts by an NFL rookie ever in the NFL. They lost this game 30-0 in embarrassing fashion, as I viewed it live from the Dawg Pound. Johnny appeared skittish and ill-prepared and his receivers didn’t help him much with several dropped balls. Manziel finished the game with a 4.8 QBR. The majority of his passes were late or in the wrong spot. It was obvious he was not ready.

As far as his future goes, Manziel will definitely be competing for the starting spot next season in Cleveland. Browns GM Ray Farmer knows better than to judge Manziel on such a small sample size. JaMarcus Russell showed more promise than Manziel in his first games and Peyton Manning looked horrible in his first starts as well. Manziel has plenty of red flags that would scare any organization but what better options does Cleveland have? They can try and trade up for a Mariota or Winston in hopes that either will be unlike the last 20 other quarterbacks they have started. Or they can sign a veteran like Mark Sanchez or Matt Schaub to push Manziel to compete. In any case, Manziel is worth holding on to for the time being. He still has time to develop and is likely not valuable trade bait at the moment. For these reasons Johnny Manziel will likely stay put in Cleveland at least for another year.  This is not the case for the offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.  Both have left the Browns in hopes of landing jobs elsewhere.  Shanahan is interviewing for several other HC and OC jobs and it won’t be long till he is hired.  The revolving door that is Cleveland continues to turn.


~Aaron G. Guilkey



About guilkey
Twitter @aaronguilkey for more - feel free to rudely comment on my poor writing skills or whatever offends you

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