The partying, the drinking and playing terribly in the few chances he got as a rookie quarterback isn’t what’s going to stop the Cleveland Browns from trying to get the most out of Johnny Manziel, expecting the troubled second-year player to be ready for the offseason workouts.
The preseason workout schedule begins on April 20 for the Browns, but Manziel is going through rehab, and it seems the ultimate decision rests in the hands of those handling his rehab process. According to the team and specifically general manager Ray Farmer, his rehab stint shouldn’t be a problem in the way of competing for the starting quarterback spot.
Manziel has been in relative isolation for the last couple of months, beginning his rehab process on January 28. He has been visited by head coach Mike Pettine while other Browns officials have spoken to him. His friends have been able to contact him by phone, while others have been asked to write to him, relayed through a Manziel intermediary.
What’s the competition going to be like? Hoyer is gone, which leaves Josh McCown, the newly acquired Thad Lewis and Connor Shaw as well. Nothing too special, but Manziel himself hasn’t exactly proven to be someone the others need to fear. He looked completely unprepared in his minimal exposure, completing just 51.4% of his passes, turning the ball over three times and not throwing a single touchdown pass (35 attempts). Did he make up for it with his running ability? Nope, going for nine yards on five carries.
For a minute, the Browns seemed like playoff contenders, until the rest of the AFC North caught up with them. Manziel was pushed into the offense too early because of how badly Hoyer was doing in the second half of the season. His lifestyle caught up with him on the field, and Manziel’s appearances were embarrassing, and not remotely lifting in terms of giving hope to fans who are used to disappointment.
Maybe he has cleaned up his act, but that doesn’t mean he’s good enough to play quarterback for an NFL team. The Browns keep saying that the most important thing is Manziel’s health, and that football comes afterwards. It’s true that without setting some things straight in his personal life he’ll be out of this league very quickly, but even with a clean act, Manziel just might not be good enough to ever live up to the hype he came out of college with.