What If Johnny Football Came to Cleveland?


Nov 30, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) rolls out against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Heisman trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, no doubt is one of the most talented and amazing college football quarterbacks in the country at this time. The Texas native finished his two year stint as starting QB for Texas A&M just a few yards short of 10,000. Manziel not only has excellent agility, but he also has vision which is something a quarterback desperately needs in order to have a legacy in the NFL.  In one season, Manziel threw for 3,419 yards, 24 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns, and had run for 100 yards in six games. He is one of the most dynamic college football performers in SEC history.

Lately, Manziel has received a lot of criticisms for his small size [6 foot 1], has relatively large hands and wears a size 15 shoe. Manziel is small, but has proven himself in big situations. He has worked with Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger, Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck, and even Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton. Despite his stellar performance on the field, Manziel could use some maturity off the field which will come as he grows older and has more positive role models such as Mike Pettine.

Overall, Manziel would be perfect for Mike Pettine and the Cleveland Browns who have been starved of a franchise quarterback for many, many years. Since the beginning of the franchise, the Browns have started at least nineteen quarterbacks since they had come back to the league in 1999. Browns head coach, Mike Pettine will be a bit reluctant to start a rookie QB even if Ray Farmer and company does decide to draft Johnny Football (if he is available.) You can understand his reluctance due to the many rookie QBs the Browns have started over the past fourteen years.

Feb 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine speaks at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

It would make sense to start Brian Hoyer who led the Browns to two straight wins last season, but you cannot fully rely on two games to tell you who your franchise QB is. In my opinion, the Lakewood, Ohio native really does not deserve the starting QB spot until he has proven himself worthy of it. When Pettine first accepted the head coaching job, he made it known that the players will be graded hard on everything they did. General manager, Ray Farmer also plans to “drive competition” whether its quarterback or cornerback, wide receiver or defensive lineman. This organization wants to make sure that when its time to hit the turf that they have the absolute best players in the league. Who can blame them after years of failed attempts at winning seasons?

Based off of Cleveland Browns history, I strongly believe that if drafted, Manziel will start the 2014 season against the tough Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field with Brian Hoyer as his backup. It is highly likely that this could be reversed, but after a couple of bad games, the Browns fans will grow weary of Hoyer and beg Pettine to start the Tyler, Texas native, Manziel. It’s inevitable and every member of the Dawg Pound knows it.

Listen, Manziel is the answer to the Browns fans prayers. Not only is he a Heisman trophy winner, but he won that Heisman trophy in his freshman year at Texas A&M. That says so much. Manziel will seek to excel above and beyond Browns fans expectations and become the Savior of the city.

He is perfectly capable of becoming an elite franchise QB and will flourish in the NFL. Not only does he compete, but he has the heart of a giant. Texas A&M offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Jake Spavital spoke to cleveland.com and stated that Manziel was, “…one of the most competitive guys I’ve ever coached, but he’s also one of the most emotional guys I’ve ever coached…”

In 2013, Manziel tore the charts up with his amazing performance in which he threw for 4,114 yards, 37 touchdown passes, and only had 13 interceptions. As if those numbers weren’t enough, he rushed for 759 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. The year before Manziel won the Heisman, he rushed for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Plainly speaking, this guy is an assassin on the field. His football instincts and vision guide him into making huge plays.

Let’s say that the Browns draft Manziel, he comes to Cleveland, and leads the Browns into a winning season. At least three or four games over .500. They make a playoff run and possibly become contenders for the AFC title. Browns fans will love this young man. One has to wonder if Manziel’s face would be plastered on a big billboard across from FirstEnergy Stadium just like LeBron James was during his stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It would be highly possible that when off the field, Manziel would probably never have to pay for anything in the city of Cleveland again. They will love him unconditionally and will forever embrace him as he would be the face of Cleveland sports.

Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown (24) celebrates with teammates and fans after he returned an interception for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Browns beat the Bengals 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It would be an amazing thing if Johnny Football came to Northeast Ohio. A winning mentality would be established and there would be an evident change in culture. The Factory of Sadness would no longer exist, and a new ray of hope would hover over the city that has been deprived of winning seasons. The AFC North would be tougher and better as the Browns bloody their noses and claw their way to the top of the division with the help of Manziel in hopes of a playoff run.

Oh, and you can rest assured that if Johnny Football is as successful as he was at Texas A&M in Cleveland, there will be some devoted Browns fan who will name his kid after him. Trust me, I know. I very well may be one of them…and I know a few others who would definitely be willing.

One can only anticipate Draft Day this coming Thursday in New York City.