City Sports Report

Johnny Manziel: Hype Or Hope?

Johnny Manziel seems to love attention, and vice versa
LeBron James and Johnny Manziel are Cleveland's Hopes for a Championship

LeBron James and Johnny Manziel are Cleveland’s Hopes for a Championship

The Cleveland Browns franchise has been pretty bad since they returned to the NFL in 1999. The team has only had two winning seasons since then. Needless to say, there has not been much to cheer about in Cleveland these days. But with the arrival of one player, that could potentially change. The Browns traded back into the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to select former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 22nd pick. And just like that, there was a buzz in Cleveland about football. But along with the buzz, the overcritical looks at Johnny began.

We all know Johnny from his collegiate days of partying hard and living like a rock star in college. Many loved that he lived carefree off the field while making incredible plays on the field. But along with the fans of Johnny Football came the detractors. The critics would mention that Johnny was too short to play quarterback (who is generously listed at 6’0″), too undisciplined to command the position at the professional level and that he was too wild to be counted on as the leader of a professional football team. Of course Johnny addressed the issues with his undisciplined play at times, but maybe that is what makes him Johnny. The creativity he has on the field is what makes him who he is. For example, check out this play from last season at Texas A&M:

Not one coach can teach that kind of creativity, footwork and playmaking ability. But it’s some of those same things that can also get Johnny in trouble at the next level. It’s okay to be creative at times, but in the NFL that can shorten your career. For Johnny to survive, he must be able to mix in his creativity with being able to make the functional play. His ability to master that function will be paramount to his success on the field.

As far as his height, Johnny is a short quarterback and he cannot change that. He is what he is at this point. But being a shorter quarterback is not something that will automatically destroy his career. Two shorter quarterbacks, one older and one younger, are having great success despite not being the classic height for a quarterback. New Orleans star signal-caller Drew Brees was an excellent quarterback in college at Purdue despite his height. He lit up scoreboards in Joe Tiller’s high-powered air attack. He was drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Chargers, and despite things not working out for him in San Diego, Brees moved on to New Orleans and is now one of the top passing quarterbacks in the NFL. Another big-time shorter quarterback is Russell Wilson. Coming out of Wisconsin, many did not believe Wilson would even quarterback an NFL football team, but the Seahawks took a chance on the rookie after they drafted him in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Now heading into his third season in the NFL, Wilson has led his team to a Super Bowl and is one of the budding young quarterbacks in the league. Johnny is a very talented quarterback and if he hones in on what he can do, he will definitely be a young quarterback that many talk about down the line.

But more than the height and undisciplined play, the off-the-field activities of Johnny Football are talked about the most. Johnny was very much on the social scene in college. And many think his social habits will be the end of him in the NFL pretty quickly. For example, after one mini-camp, Johnny went to Las Vegas to party and hang out. The trip he took seemed to be something the media took and ran with. Plenty began to say he was beginning to spiral out of control. And more recently, Manziel was late for a meeting in training camp. Being late to a meeting was not a good thing for Johnny, but vacationing when you’re not in mini-camps is not something that people should freak out about. Manziel is not the only player that vacations when camp is not going on. Honestly, it seemed like the media was making a story of no story at all. Johnny is going to be himself whether people like it or not, and if the coaches are okay with his off and on the field antics, then why are the media and fans concerned so much with what he is doing? It really should not matter to either unless he was breaking to the law.

In the end, Johnny will be a good quarterback in the NFL. He is unconventional, strong-willed and as competitive as they come and those characteristics will eventually lead to him taking over in Cleveland. He still has some things to learn and will make some mistakes, but he will definitely bring the star power and hopefully wins to a Cleveland team in desperate need of success.


For more sports talk, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

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