It would have been too much to see Johnny manziel come out and take the NFL by storm in his first preseason game. As it was, Manziel did a few Manziel things, ran around a bit, once on a nice breakaway run through the middle of the line that gained 16 yards. His arm strength looked adequate, a little zip on a few passes.
But he didn’t do anything spectacular. Maybe that’s good. Maybe the Cleveland Browns will be able to let him get his feet wet before tossing him into the deep end. And believe me, Manziel is going to be tossed into the deep end sooner rather than later. Brian Hoyer has the job of playing well enough to hold that moment back a few weeks. If he’s lucky, Hoyer will play well enough to garner himself some offers for next season.
The Cleveland Browns may be talking about winning now but the reality is that this team is going to struggle in the 2014 NFL season, Manziel or no Manziel. It only gets worse when you consider that Josh Gordon is probably going to be out for a while, if not all year. The Browns must once again rebuild. If they can win 6 games I consider it a good start. Seven or eight would be a great beginning and possible a new era in Cleveland Browns football.
Can Manziel succeed in the NFL? I believe he can. Whether he can succeed in Cleveland is a whole nother question. Ideally, Manziel would have gone someplace with an established NFL quarterback, a place where it was obvious he would be riding the bench and learning. San Diego, New England, New Orleans, Denver, Atlanta, just about anywhere but Cleveland where the fans, and they are great fans, are desperate for something good to come along. I think Johnny Manziel could be a good thing but probably not in 2014. 2015 though, could be a different story.