Johnny Manziel may not know it, but he’s at the center of a new hype machine. Not as powerful as the clamor caused by Marcus Mariota and other top college football players, but it’s there. Manziel committed to months of rehab, a very visible and much-talked about attempt to get himself together. The move to rehab left some to wonder if the Cleveland Browns would stand by the young quarterback or if they were already looking elsewhere for new talent.
If Johnny Manziel is going to rise from the ashes of his debut season, he’s going to have to work incredibly hard. It was a fact made clear by Browns left tackle Joe Thomas. The eight-time Pro Bowl athlete told ESPN Cleveland that there was still “uncertainty” surrounding Johnny and his place in the Browns franchise.
“I think [Johnny Manziel is] going to have to prove to the team that football is important and being the man, being the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, is important, it is his goal, his single goal in his life.
You know, I think he lost probably a lot of trust among the guys on the team last year by the way he handled himself once he became the starter. And I think he had a lot of time to reflect, I’m guessing, after the season was over by the comments he made in the media and by his actions, checking himself into rehab. I think those were really positive steps.”
So begins the redemption arc of the Johnny Football story. It’s of increasing interest to NFL fans everywhere, whether they’re rooting for Manziel or against him. Many are waiting to see if Johnny will even start for the Cleveland Browns next season. At least one member of the Cleveland Browns has faith in him.
Browns Center Alex Mack went on record, perhaps as an answer to the statements by Thomas, and gave a much more upbeat outlook on Johnny Manziel’s future with the franchise.
“I think [Manziel] can be the long-term answer in Cleveland at QB and I don’t think he has to earn my trust back.”
While there appears to be some disagreement within the Browns as to how much work lies ahead for Johnny, everyone seems to agree that rehab was the right decision for the young quarterback. It will be some weeks before football fans can determine whether or not time spent away from the Browns has inspired a brand new “Johnny Football”. The new hype surrounding Manziel has onlookers questioning whether his late (and terrible) debut was a fluke or if he has the potential to be a legendary NFL quarterback.
Do you think this is a new beginning for Johnny Manziel, or is it already too late for the Cleveland Browns quarterback?
[Image Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]