Unclear if graduating from Texas A&M University gives me more or less authority to comment on Johnny Manziel. What’s crystal clear is there really shouldn’t be any more words written about this guy until he does something in the near future that is meaningful. In my mind he has had significant impact, influenced and/or accomplished only the following four items:
- Put Texas A&M football back into the national discussion and was major factor in the recent success of A&M recruiting, former student monetary contributions and Kevin Sumlin’s win/loss record,
- Forced SEC power football teams, particularly Alabama, into a new theory of offense and defense. The 2012 upset in Tuscaloosa was one of A&M’s biggest wins of all time.
- The relevance of Cleveland Browns football in the national media for more than losing football games, hiring new coaches and truck stop discount shenanigans,
- Piled on to the smaller, mobile Quarterback momentum that is really only a piece of the larger discussion of how football offenses are rapidly evolving from the days of Dan Marino and Bernie Kosar.
(I left out the Heisman Trophy for two reasons. It’s awarded every year and winning typically has no impact to football in general; plus, winning the Heisman is not necessarily a predictor of future football success.)
That’s it, readers. All else is noise, talking heads, and ESPN.com videos.
When asked, “What do you think about Johnny Football?” I typically reply, “He certainly was one of the most exciting quarterbacks I have ever watched play at Texas A&M and I thank him for winning some football games so I could watch most games with sound on the big screen at the bar instead of the tube TV tucked into the corner.” I have rarely said much more.
Honesty, I truly believe he can be successful in the NFL, and more specifically, the Browns. But only, and only if, the Browns can return the offensive line back to the offensive line that began the year. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Brian Hoyer has suddenly turned into a below average quarterback the instant the center, Mack, was hurt and has since played behind four different centers. The Browns, and in extension Maziel, and Hoyer for that matter, are not good enough without a running game that will take pressure off the passing game and sustain long drives that will prevent the opposing offense the chance to score.
To wrap this up, I’m exhausted by the coverage of his current off field activities and could care less about anything he’s done in the past other than the stuff mentioned above. I can’t wait to see him dance around in the backfield, fumble, dribble the ball, do a cartwheel, gazelle hop, throw a side arm pass, head butt a defensive back and give the money sign – all on one play AND while wearing a Brown’s uniform.