Johnny Manziel Can Change Cleveland Browns’ Fortunes For Good


Jun 12, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) drops backs to pass during minicamp at Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Manziel took a Brady Quinn-like fall on draft night, but it didn’t stop him from partying hard in the weeks to follow.

Manziel gets a bad wrap for his celebrity, which is already humongous, which is why so many people dislike him. He’s got a ‘thing’ for so many people where he’s always at a party, always doing something that is not football related.

But when Johnny brings it on the football field, there’s not many more exciting players to watch.

Which is why I believe that Manziel will not only start sooner rather than later in his Cleveland Browns career, but I think he’s got the ability and swagger to change around the fortunes of the franchise.

His reckless, backyard style of play won’t hold up if he tries to make that the main part of his game, not with the way NFL players run and hit. But his backyard style of play will work if he uses it when it’s supposed to be used — at crunch time, or in a pinch.

Manziel’s ability to improvise to me is not a negative to his game. It’s not a cop-out. It’s a testament to his instincts as a football player. And despite what you may think about Manziel off the field, there’s no doubt at all that this guy works hard at his craft.

I feel like Manziel has proven enough as a Heisman trophy winner, a guy who showed despite his shortcomings that he could beat some of the best schools in the country. He backed up his sort of ‘cocky’ personality with his play on the field, with wins.

Manziel doesn’t have ideal measurables, or the ideal life off the field you want to see in the public eye for your quarterback. But you see some guys out there doing a lot worse…

It’s time to stop focusing on what party Manziel and Gronk will be attending with ladies in bikinis. It’s time to start focusing in on what Manziel brings to the table as a player, and I think he has a chance to be special.

The Browns weren’t planning on Josh Gordon likely missing this season due to suspension, so the wide receiver spot won’t be ideal for a young quarterback in Cleveland, at least initially. Any team losing the league’s leading receiver is going to suffer a major blow. But looking big picture, I think Manziel is ready to make an impact in the NFL, and he has the tools to be a special breed of quarterback.

He’s not big and strong like Cam Newton. He’s not as fast as Robert Griffin III. He doesn’t have the feet or Amish-like work ethic of Andrew Luck. Even the guy who he most compares to in terms of size, Drew Brees, is a far different style of QB. Manziel is going to have to show the NFL that his style fits their game, not the other way around.

When I scouted him these last couple of years, what I saw more than anything was a player that wanted to win at any cost, who loved his teammates and who was willing to do anything to get a first down, to put points on the board.

That’s the kind of guy I want leading my team.