So this is how it’s going to go, huh? Wait, I’m answering my own question. That would be a resounding YES. Yes, this is how it’s going to be with Johnny Manziel whose every move, frivolous or not, is getting the ultimate Tebow treatment. Did I mention that we’re barely into OTA’s? You may have heard he went to Vegas over Memorial Day weekend. Imagine that. A 21 year-old who wants to go to Sin City. Ah, but it’s not just any 21 year-old. It’s Johnny Football who’s living in his own sphere which doubles as a fish bowl.
Maybe Manziel was on to something when he was asked about being drafted by the Cowboys, “I don’t know if the world could have handled that, honestly.” He’s absolutely 100% spot-on. If he was in Dallas or New York, we would’ve been absorbed in an armageddon scenario. All city municipalities would be shut down. Meteors would crash into the Earth. Computers would malfunction. As is, he’s the Browns quarterback and that’s causing almost as much chaos. Almost. Who cares if he went to Vegas? Really. There’s reports he even sat in the middle seat on a Southwest Airlines flight.
You see, he’s slumming it like the rest of us. Of all the people, he’s put it into perspective by saying he hasn’t done anything yet to even create a buzz. Right again, Johnny! If and when his off-field antics become a distraction, then and only then, should we process his choice in pool parties he attends, but until we reach that point, let him, as he says, “live life to the fullest.” Browns head coach Mike Pettine says Manziel is studying the playbook. That’s all you can ask for right now. For what it’s worth, he took reps with both the first and second teams. Last week, he worked exclusively with the third team, so he’s making strides on the field. Let’s ease up on the Tebow-like fascination and put this in perspective. At least Manziel is.
The Dolphins fining safety Don Jones and excusing him from team activities for comments about Michael Sam on Twitter is a jolting reminder that the former Missouri defensive end enters a culture with certain archaic corners of it largely not accepting of him or his sexuality. Jones has since apologized for his response to Sam kissing his boyfriend after getting drafted. It obviously was jarring for many people like Jones, who were not ready for the public display of affection on national TV between two men. How do you explain this to your kids? Someone on Twitter nailed it perfectly and it was re-tweeted many times over. “You explain Michael Sam as a pass rushing specialist who plays on passing downs and tries to sack the QB.”
He’s a football player folks. Look beyond his sexuality. It all makes his journey to get to this point all the more admirable considering what potentially lies ahead of him. Something tells me that insensitive tweets will likely be the tamer part of it. Wait until he gets to other stadiums, where the vitriol at times, can be toxic. However, he’s shown that he possesses the right attitude, downplaying the attention and reminding the world that he’s.. wait for it.. a football player! As well as he should.
He says this will only fuel him to be a better player and as it turns out, the Rams were the absolute right match for him. He’s nearby where he once starred in college, will be with a no-nonsense coach in Jeff Fisher and is part of a defense as a situational pass rusher. A very good defense we should add. He couldn’t have asked for a more ideal situation, although you have to wonder, now that we’re a few days removed from the draft, just how high he would have gone had he not announced he was gay. Roto World had him listed in the top 90 or so prospects before his announcement, but fell to 140 after it. You can blame it on his poor combine performance, his small stature at 6 foot 2 or his limited ability in coverage. All salable points that may prove to be stumbling blocks to a long and prosperous career. We’ll never know, but we know this. He’ll attack the quarterback just the way he’s attacked this whole thing.
Current analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski should be expecting a large satchel of thank you cards on his doorstep from several TV and radio producers any day now. Since expressing an unpopular belief that Johnny Manziel shouldn’t be drafted in the first three rounds of this upcoming draft, his comments are providing plenty of fresh fodder for debate shows and sports radio across the country.
By taking the contrarian stance, he opened himself up to being scrutinized, picked apart and second-guessed, much like Manziel himself. Jaworski is a self-proclaimed football junkie, pouring over hours and hours of tape, so there is some heft behind his credibility, although some would argue he lost some of it by saying Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Jaworski admits that he hasn’t seen a lot of Manziel, watching only five of his games at Texas A&M. At the moment, he’s the only analyst who’s taking the stance that Manziel is not a franchise quarterback. I still think Manziel is a transcendent talent that should be taken in the first round, but if I did have any doubts about Manziel, it would be over whether he can stay in the pocket, go through his progressions and complete a pass in the tightest of windows.
No matter if you’re Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, you can’t rely on your legs forever. At some point, you have to stand tall and make the throws. The read-option wasn’t as successful this year as it was the previous seasons because defenses caught on to it. Manziel is a master at ad-libbing, but he’s open to getting crushed as we saw with RG3. He would need to bulk up more to absorb hits and perhaps more importantly, be smart. That last part is key because he was able to slither out of sticky situations, but that was in college. In the NFL, everybody is bigger, stronger and faster. At least, we have some time to dissect him. Thanks Jaws.
Luis Suarez had yet another opponent crying out for mercy as he put his knee on their throats, not literally of course, although it would be plausible to leap to that reaction given his recent checkered past on the pitch, whether its allegedly hurling a racist comment or munching on an opposing player’s limb.
Suarez toyed with a disheartened Cardiff side by assisting on one goal and knocking home two others, bringing his BPL total to a whopping 19 goals in 12 matches, an unprecedented scoring binge the likes we have not seen. He’s on a staggering pace for 60 at the moment and wouldn’t doubt him seizing the achievement. Think about the dent he would’ve made had he not been suspended for biting Chelsea’s Ivanovic.
The overall total would be far greater. His play against Cardiff showed his determination in and around the box, never giving up and constantly moving. As a result, Liverpool is now on top of the table. Suarez caps off an unforgettable week in which the Uruguayan also inked an extension. In the summer, he seemed destined to be anywhere other than Liverpool, making the agreement all the more unthinkable, but the club did the smart move and in turn, gave it more control if someone were to seek out his services. When his head is right, like it is now, he’s a potent striker in top form that can’t be slowed. Cardiff found that out.