Report: Johnny Manziel Not Part of Offensive Staff Discussions
Johnny Manziel is still persona non grata when it comes to the Cleveland Browns. He is not available, due to still being in rehab (sidenote: Not a bad thing for him) but it also is being reported that Manziel wasn’t even a part of discussions with the new offensive staff. According to Chris Mortensen, written up by The Morning Journal, Manziel was not a part of their talks in putting together the new staff:
"“The bottom line is that Johnny Manziel’s future with the Browns has been in question. When they were putting together half of a new offensive staff, Manziel’s name barely even came up in conversation.”"
This was in the same interview that Mort said that the Browns had 90% moved on from Manziel. We didn’t cover that comment as it has no meaning. You either have moved on or you haven’t. They still have him on their roster, they hired an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach that can work with him and they have said all the right things in public.
The statement about him not coming up in discussions with the new offensive staff does seem to ring with some truth. The Browns didn’t go after coaches who only could work with a mobile, read option QB. While OC John DeFilippo and QB coach Kevin O’Connell have experience in that, that is not their expertise. The run they made at Sam Bradford is further proof that the team is not planning their offense around Manziel.
And why should they?
Forget what we saw on the field, it was bad but very limited. Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and even Teddy Bridgewater had bad stretches of quarters. The Browns have two problems off the field that gives them pause that Manziel is someone they should plan around.
First, Manziel’s need for rehab has to be a concern. As a professional counselor, I can tell you that, on average, it takes someone 8 true attempts before they are able to abstain from substance use. Obviously that is an average but he is dealing with a tough issue, not to mention whatever mental health concerns could be underlying. Things like depression and anxiety often are a part of the problem when people abuse substances.
Second, and a bigger bias for this writer, is his work ethic. Bortles, Carr and Bridgewater had their struggles but there haven’t been any reports that they don’t work hard at their craft. Those in favor of drafting Marcus Mariota (me) even though he needs time to sit and develop, like Manziel, are more confident in him because of his work ethic. Nothing we have heard about Manziel on the practice field and in the film room gives confidence he will do the hard work necessary to be someone the Browns can build around.
That is why it makes sense, if Mort’s report is true, that the Browns barely talked about Manziel when putting together their new offensive staff. While it would be great if he can put things together, based on these two off the field issues, it would be a bad business decision. That doesn’t mean the Browns will push hard to draft Mariota, it just means they are open to him and other QBs. Drafting Manziel last year will not impact decisions this year.
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The best hope for Manziel’s future with the Browns is that the team misses out on Mariota and he comes in and proves he will work hard. We expect both Mariota and Manziel to sit behind Josh McCown this season if they are on the Browns. It is what would be best for both of them. If the Browns draft Mariota, expect them to try to build Manziel’s trade value (we are looking at you Jerry Jones, if Tony Romo gets hurt).
For now, we are not surprised that Johnny Manziel was not a big part of the Browns offensive staff discussions. It is up to him to prove he has changed both of the off the field concerns we listed.
Do you think the Browns are planning anything based on Johnny Manziel?