Thursday, September 4, 2014

Manziel's Road to Success

An Inside Look at Johnny Football
By now, the world has heard of Johnny Football (trademarked by Manziel and his family). I have to say: this is probably the only time I have been excited to watch a Cleveland Browns game. I remember always marking a "W" on the Cowboys schedule during the designated week of playing Cleveland.

Now, Johnny Manziel has brought the cameras, action, and star power to the Browns' franchise...only to be met with constant criticism of his maturity level. I've had the opportunity to ask former HS/college classmates of Manziel and even former teammates of Mr. Football (via Sam Houston State Univ. and Texas A&M) what he is like behind the scenes. To put it in one sentence: Manziel is a winner, and wants everyone to know it as well.

Too often we focus on things that someone cannot do rather than illuminate the things that he/she can do. Does Manziel lack the height that teams desire? Yes. Is he a classic pocket passer? No. Is he attracted to the limelight? Like a moth to a flame.

There are many critics of his game, his persona, and even extracurricular activities, but one thing we cannot take away from Manziel is his winning mentality. The guy will not accept defeat at any cost; however, he may learn a valuable lesson in Cleveland that you cannot win at everything. For example, Manziel was not named the starting QB for the Browns this season.

But Manziel also is a guy who improved each year in college and should do the same in the NFL, in part because he is unwilling to accept failure. He doesn't want to succeed. He needs to succeed. The difference is subtle, yet significant.

At this point, Manziel is a ball of clay. He has to be molded into a quarterback who can play from under center, who can effectively and efficiently go through read progressions, who can take advantage of what the defense gives instead of waiting on the big plays. I believe that he'll learn to do all those things, not only because he has a high football IQ, in my opinion, but also because it's imperative to him succeeding.
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