Opinions plentiful when it comes to Cleveland Browns’ Johnny Manziel
By Thomas Moore
May 26, 2015; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during organized team activities at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
We are now into the second week of the summer break for the Cleveland Browns and all is quiet with nary an inflatable swan in sight.
But that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of people ready to offer up an opinion on second-year back-up quarterback Johnny Manziel.
First up is former running back Jim Brown, who has never been shy to offer up his thoughts on the franchise’s players and direction.
“I believe he’s going to be a star or he’s going to be a bust,” Brown told USA Today Sports about Manziel. “There’s no in-between. I like Johnny. He creates action. But there’s no middle ground on Johnny. He’s going to be that guy, or he’s probably going to be out of there. I like it that way, because they need dynamics at quarterback.”
Related: Josh McCown is QB1 for now
Brown also credited Manziel for entering rehab earlier this year in an attempt to get his NFL career and, more importantly, is life back on track.
“I believe he’s going to be a star or he’s going to be a bust. There’s no in-between.” – Jim Brown on Johnny Manziel
“I’m encouraged, because Johnny is addressing his situation, and that’s speaking to the world,” Brown said. “That message is encouraging. He’s going to give himself the best chance to succeed. Now if he were still in denial, we’d have a different conversation. If he didn’t go to rehab, this would be totally different.
“It’s the commitment that only you can make in yourself, the responsibility to assume control of yourself. What I would have said to Johnny, or would have hoped he’d do, he’s doing.
“So I’d say to him, ‘Your commitment to allow the world to know you want to work to change your life, I encourage and support you.’ It would be that simple. I wouldn’t try to impart any great wisdom on him, because it’s a day-to-day process that he’s got to live with.”
Brown’s comments came on the heels of Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator Paul Guenther saying the Manziel just needs more time to develop.
“Right now, Johnny has to become a better quarterback (and) he needs to learn to read the game within the confines of what they want him to do in that offense.” – Eric Davis, NFL Network
“Drew Brees did it,” Guenther told ESPN. “I know Drew is a little bit thicker than Johnny but about the same height. … I don’t see any reason why he can’t do it up there. [Manziel] was such a high-profile guy out of college and everyone expected what he did at Texas A&M, but it’s a man’s game, it’s a lot different, and it takes time. You have to take your lumps a little bit.
“I think he has good feet, is obviously a threat to run it, and I think in the right system he can be a good player. There was so much expected in his first game, and maybe some of that was self-warranted, but it was so much from the fan base that you have to let him make mistakes.”
Guenther could be speaking out of self-interest, as it was his defense that exposed Manziel in Cincinnati’s 30-0 beat down on the Browns last season. But he also has a point as it is easy to remember that, for all his accomplishments at Texas A&M, he only played 26 games before entering the NFL.
NFL Network analysts and former players Eric Davis and Nate Burleson also weighed in on the network’s morning show on the topic of Manziel’s size holding him back.
“I don’t think (size) is an issue if you can play,” Davis correctly stated. “No one questions Drew Brees or Russell Wilson because they perform. Right now, Johnny has to become a better quarterback (and) he needs to learn to read the game within the confines of what they want him to do in that offense.”
Related: Can Johnny Manziel still be the man for the Cleveland Browns?
Burleson, who spent time with the Browns during the preseason in 2014, said that inconsistency, not size, is what is holding Manziel back.
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“He showed much more than we needed to see (in training camp),” Burleson said. “Everyone wanted to see if he had the same impact that he had in college and he did that. Where he failed was not being able to do it consistently. There were days where he would go out and make a play that would literally stop practice. This was why there was a hysteria about him in college. But he would come out the next day and not be as consistent. That is why the jury is still out on Johnny Manziel.”
We’re still about five weeks away from the start of training camp for the Browns and the opinions are already consistently rolling in on Manziel.
Just think what it would be like if he was the starting quarterback rather than Josh McCown?
What do you think is holding Johnny Manziel back?