Johnny Manziel has had a brief career in the NFL that has produced more transgressions than wins for the Cleveland Browns quarterback. Despite his checkered past, one current coach believes the quarterback could still have a productive NFL future, ESPN reported this week.
That coach, Cleveland offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, said that Manziel could see playing time again this year with the Browns.
“You know, you don’t close doors on anything. You never say never. To say Johnny won’t play again this season, I’m not going to say that.”
DeFilippo took his claim one step further about the talented quarterback. The Browns coach predicted that Johnny will have a renaissance in his NFL career.
“I think all of us as people, myself included, we’re all a work in progress every day. Some of us deal with different issues. We know Johnny’s issues. We’re working with him every day. And there’s no doubt in my mind Johnny’s going to bounce back.”
Despite the high praise, the future for Johnny rests in the hands of Browns coach Mike Pettine. The coach echoed his assistant’s comments, agreeing the book isn’t closed on the Manziel era in Cleveland.
“Things can change. As far as declaring a starter for the rest of the year, we will see how this plays out in the short-term… I won’t speak beyond that right now.”
Not playing Johnny for the remainder of the season would be a mistake, Peter King wrote for Sports Illustrated. His reasoning was simple enough; sitting Manziel as a punishment for the season will not allow the Cleveland Browns to decide if the former Texas A&M gunslinger is the quarterback for their future.
Yet, the Browns find themselves in this position because Manziel could not refrain from indulging during his team’s bye week. A little more than a week ago, Johnny was recorded drinking and partying in College Station, Texas (where Manziel played college football) with friends, USA Today reported this week. The video was leaked on TMZ, and Johnny purportedly told his Cleveland coaches the video was a previously-recorded sampling of his behavior.
After discovering the truth, Pettine and the Cleveland Browns demoted Johnny Manziel for lying about when the video was recorded. Instead of simply benching the quarterback, the team dropped Manziel to the third string, promoting reserve Austin Davis ahead of the former Heismann winner.
The lies — coupled with other issues that have sparked NFL probes — speak to a deeper issue for the Cleveland Browns with Johnny Manziel, a sports commentary piece on ESPN suggested. “They [the Cleveland Browns] stood by him when he went through 10 weeks of rehab,” noted writer Pat McManamon. “They supported him to the brink of coddling after his rehab, all with the noble intention of helping a young man get his life together.”
Despite their efforts, Cleveland has a team leader in Johnny that cannot be trusted. Will the Browns move Manziel after the season to another team? Rumors immediately swirled about Cleveland shopping the troubled athlete to the Dallas Cowboys. A spot in Dallas could make sense because of the recent quarterback issues and the Cowboys’ propensity to take on troubled, athletic players as projects, such as Greg Hardy.
As a starter, Cleveland has won only one of the five games Johnny has started. Manziel has played in parts of six other Browns games, recording five touchdowns and four interceptions in his limited time on the field.
Do you think Johnny Manziel will be forced out of Cleveland by the Browns after this season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
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