Johnny Manziel is on a media tour to try to get the world, and especially NFL teams, to like him again. But he seemed to set himself back on Wednesday during an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on NBC Sports.
Manziel criticized the Cleveland Browns — for drafting him.
“If Cleveland did any of their homework they would have known I wasn’t a guy who came in every day and watched film. I wasn’t a guy who really knew the X’s and O’s of football,” Manziel said.
What seemed to matter to the Browns was that Manziel wanted badly to play for them. He sent a text to Browns quarterback coach Dowell Loggains: Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck this league together. That text ended up in front of the eyes of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who pulled the trigger on Manziel. Reports emerged that Haslam insisted the Browns take Manziel over Teddy Bridgewater.
But Manziel’s poor work ethic had to have been out in the open in scouting circles. And the Browns had to have ignored it.
In the purported Patriots scouting report of Manziel, which popped up before the Browns took Manziel at 22nd overall in the 2014 draft, the New England Patriots supposedly said that Manziel knew just 60 percent of the playbook during his time at Texas A&M. And whether a team believed it was real, the report should have prompted further examination for teams who didn’t already have a good grasp on Manziel’s work ethic.
But Manziel’s criticisms of the Browns didn’t end there. He went on to blame the Browns for failing to acclimate him to the NFL.
If Manziel was never doing his homework and wasn’t engaged during film study — which he seemed to be admitting — he might be a tough pupil to teach. But alas, that’s the job of Pettine and former Browns quarterback coaches Loggains (2014) and Kevin O’Connell (2015). They drafted him. They needed to develop him.
In the film room, Manziel was probably a mess. And off the field, he was a disaster. Manziel has admitted to struggling with alcoholism and bi-polar disorder. He has gotten help to begin finding balance and mental health. While that excuses some of his faults as a football player for the Browns, that doesn’t necessarily excuse the allegations of domestic abuse, which were dismissed. And that’s probably why he’s still searching for a job as a football player.
Considering this interview probably only hurt his chances to get a contract, Manziel is right: it’s almost certain he begins his return to football in the Canadian Football League. Hopefully, whoever signs him does their homework.