While it is too early to say that partying is the source of the young quarterback’s power, it seems that his lifestyle has not affected his ability to play ball. In his first preseason game for the Cleveland Browns, Johnny Manziel looked good overall, completing passes and showing off the ability to scramble that served him so well at Texas A&M.
After a somewhat shaky first couple of plays for Johnny Football, he settled down and started to look like he really belongs in the NFL. He ran for a few very solid rushes, and delivered passes with a very strong arm and undeniable confidence. He spread his passes around to most of the receivers on the field. In his passing game, he want 7-for-11, but easily could have been 9-for-11 as his ball placement was very accurate — however, he caught a couple of receivers off-guard with passes.
On top of his decent showing passing during the contest, it was clear that the Browns’ coaching staff have done what they can to incorporate his speed and elusiveness. They clearly attempted a couple of plays that were focused on harnessing Manziel as a rushing threat that achieved some success. These plays did not develop in exactly the way the coaches had hoped, but it is the first game of preseason and tweaks are still being made.
Obviously, it is too early to say that Johnny Manziel is the next big thing, but he looked good in his first NFL game. It is only the preseason, which is a time where experimentation and taking chances are more acceptable, but Johnny Football conducted himself well on the field and proved that he deserved to be there. Neither he nor Brian Hoyer stood out as the definitive starter, however, so there still appears to be no absolute final answer for the Browns’ starting quarterback position. Above all, Manziel looked similar to how he looked back in college. He threw the ball hard with great accuracy and was able to use his legs to make some solid gains. Of course, it will take a few more games to determine consistency, but he has shown that he can compete at the NFL level, silencing some doubters at least temporarily.