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Grant Cohn: Johnny Football comes with flaws (w/video)

  • Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy as a Texas A&M freshman in 2012. (Dave Einsel / Associated Press)

One week before the NFL Scouting Combine, Johnny Manziel – bless his heart – said he wanted to be the first rookie quarterback to win the Super Bowl.

Don't count on it.

Manziel has a better chance to be the next Matt Leinart. Remember him? Won the Heisman Trophy at USC in 2004. The Arizona Cardinals drafted him with the 10th pick in 2006. Now, he's out of the league.

Before he got drafted, his agent told NFL teams that Leinart would be the first quarterback in NFL history to “cross over.” No, not by communicating with the dead. The agent meant Leinart would become an elite NFL starting quarterback as well as a matinee idol, appearing in magazines, movies and television advertisements.

There is no way you can be both. Leinart became neither. He wasn't even a decent backup quarterback, let alone a starter.

That brings us back to Manziel. He has a persona he calls, “Johnny Football.” He turned 21 three months ago and already he has appeared in a country music video, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after a 2012 bar fight, attended alcohol and anger counseling and shoved a graduate assistant after throwing an interception during a spring practice.

Even Manziel's father, Paul, is concerned. “I don't know where the anger comes from,” he told ESPN the Magazine. “I don't think he knows. If it comes from his drinking, or if he's mad at himself for not being a better person when he fails. If it makes him angry that he's got demons in him.”

Some people can't handle failure. Some people can't handle success. Manziel can't seem to handle either one.

Manziel mostly has had success. He was a college phenom, a precocious talent who won the Heisman as redshirt freshman mostly playing recess football – running and scrambling, removing structure from the offense. Coaches stayed away from coaching him and let him do his thing because it worked. But Manziel never became a disciplined player.

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