After being seen doing passing drills with Odell Beckham Jr., Johnny Manziel is ready for a comeback and absolutely deserves a shot. Let’s take a quick trip back through his recent years.
In Aug. of 2012, to much surprise, Johnny Manziel beat out Jameill Showers, Matt Joeckel and Matt Davis, to win the Texas A&M starting quarterback job. On Oct. 13, Manziel goes for 576 total yards against Louisiana Tech, becoming the first player in SEC history to have multiple 500-yard games in one season.
Manziel and A&M were off to a quick 6-2 start going into November. On Halloween, as Johnny was climbing up the Heisman watch list, Manziel went out in an incredible Scooby-Doo costume. Why? Because he is a legend.
On Nov. 10, 2012, Johnny Manziel shocked the world. Throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns and 92 yards on the ground, Johnny Football and Texas A&M knocked off No. 1 Alabama, 29-24, in Tuscaloosa.
About a month later, Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Leading the Aggies to a 10-2 record with over 3,400 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, 19 rushing touchdowns, and later a 41-13 romping over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl, Manziel was on top of the world.
The day after the Cotton Bowl, Manziel posted a photo to Instagram in which he held a wad full of cash at a casino.
Ballers do baller things.
Stuff kids dream about
After winning the Heisman, Manziel went on a run. He was seen sitting courtside at Rockets games and posting pictures with James Harden. Manziel also took part in the Super Bowl week festivities by partying with celebs like Jessica Biel, Rob Gronkowski and Justin Timberlake.
He then followed this up in March of 2013 by going to Toronto and partying with the GOAT in the music game, Drake. Johnny even showed up at the NBA Finals and hung out with LeBron James. A few first pitches and parties later, Manziel ran into some trouble at the Manning Passing Academy.
In the summer of 2013, after being sick and dehydrated, Manziel left the Manning Passing Academy early. He was faced with serious criticism from the media. The day after he left, Manziel was seen out at a club.
Then there was the NCAA investigation in which it was said that Manziel had accepted money to sign hundreds of items for autograph brokers. He was hit with a first half suspension against Rice.
His sophomore season stats were even better than the previous season’s. He would go on to throw for over 4,000 yards with 41 total touchdowns. Manziel left college in style with 455 total yards and five total touchdowns in a come-from-behind win against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
DRAFT DAY, JOHNNY MANZIEL
With the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Manziel. Arguably the worst franchise in sports, the Browns are as dysfunctional as it gets. The constant hire and fire strategy has yet to work.
Since 1999, they have had 26 different quarterbacks behind center. To make matters worse, the Browns have been terrible in the draft. Of the last five year’s picks, none of the Browns selected have made a Pro Bowl. With all that said, Manziel was walking into a losing situation.
In two seasons, Manziel went 2-6 as a starter. Is his record an appropriate way to judge his ability? Absolutely not. In his first season, the Browns ranked 32nd in rushing yards allowed per game. Luckily, in his second season, they moved all the way up to 30th, and finished 27th in total yards allowed per game.
Think that is irrelevant for someone who controls the offense? Of the 10 teams that finished in the bottom for total yards allowed per game, only one of them, the Washington Redskins, made the playoffs. The Browns gave Manziel no shot to succeed.
In his sophomore campaign, Manziel was one of only four quarterbacks to throw for at least 160 yards and rush for at least 100 yards in a single game. He was one of only two quarterbacks to throw for at least 160 yards and rush for at least 30 yards versus the Bengals defense.
Manziel was also one of the toughest quarterbacks the Titans had faced all year, posting the second-highest passing rater against their defense. The only qualified quarterback who had a higher passing rating against Tennessee was Blake Bortles.
In his 15 career games, Manziel has seven passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and seven interceptions. His career passer rating of 74.4 ranks ahead of Mark Sanchez and Derek Anderson, who both serve as backups. In eight starts, Manziel threw six touchdowns and five interceptions.
Let’s take a look at the two best quarterbacks of this generation: Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. In Manning’s first eight starts, the soon-to-be Hall of Famer threw 16 interceptions and had the Colts sitting at 1-7. Tom Brady threw seven interceptions within his first eight games as a starter.
#LOST IN THE SAUCE
After rehab, a tough breakup that involved a domestic violence case, and partying with endless celebs, Manziel was officially lost in the sauce. He was waived by the Browns on March 11, 2016.
After being waived, Manziel fluttered down a tough path in which he was followed by TMZ Sports, who would constantly catch him outside of nightclubs.
After getting more tattoos, hanging with Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio, being allegedly the passenger in multiple hit-and-run accidents, having to pay thousands of dollars in damage to a multi-million-dollar home, going to Coachella with Josh Gordon and watching the NFL Draft at a bar, Manziel was ready for a change.
I believe in Johnny Manziel, and you should too. This past March, Manziel proposed to model girlfriend Bre Tiesi. You may have seen her on MTV’s “Wild’n Out”. Tiesi is in full support of Johnny’s comeback and is exactly what he needed.
A stable girlfriend who can keep him focused, Tiesi could be the piece that Manziel needed. With Tiesi and support from friends, the sky is the limit for Manziel.
The talent has never been the problem. The 24-year-old has been training and working out hard, hoping for another shot at the sport he loves.
Not only is he working on his own game, but Manziel has also been working out with Wyoming’s quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen is projected to be a top pick in next year’s draft and claims Manziel has been “very informative” to him. Manziel has taught Allen the importance of “staying out of the spotlight, and doing the right things.” This is a clear sign of maturity from Manziel.
In a recent interview, former teammate Travis Benjamin spoke about Manziel and explained how the former college star is “ready to comeback”. Manziel is a “more determined man now” said Benjamin. Manziel is ready to prove himself, and prove to the doubters that he can succeed in the NFL.
Now, happy, healthy, and sober, Johnny Football is back and deserves another chance in the NFL.
Featured image by nike.com
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