Johnny Manziel: Rebirth or Bust?

There is possibly no other sports figure that is arguably as closely scrutinized as Tiger Woods than the Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The 2014 Manziel campaign was a lesson for all of us. It was a reality check for those who expected too much of Manziel in his rookie season, myself included. While the Manziel-haters rejoiced, the pro-Manziel crowd was left wanting more after an uninspiring 51.7% completion rate, no touchdowns and two interceptions over the course of his short 2014 season.

Many believe his lack of production had much to do with him not having a full grasp of the Brown’s playbook. There is some merit to that as there were times when Johnny seemed lost on the football field. Some of that, however, may have been because of his party-like lifestyle off the field which led to him being suspended for the Browns final game along with fellow teammate Josh Gordon.

This off-season, the Browns obtained former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown. He is likely to be favored over Manziel to win the starting gig come September, but don’t count Johnny Football out just yet. Are we so quick to hand the job over to McCown who is essentially Brian Hoyer’s older, twin brother?

Josh McCown’s 2014 Numbers Brian Hoyer’s2014 Numbers
56.3% completion rate 55.3% completion rate
2,206 yds 3,326 yds
11 TDs 12 TD’s
14 INT’s 13 INT’s

If Hoyer was not the answer in Cleveland, then how is McCown?

There is some recent speculation that the Browns have already moved on from Manziel, but it is only just that – speculation.

From a reality standpoint, the Browns organization would be foolish to throw in the towel so quickly after such a small sample size and a few lifestyle mistakes. Let’s not forget that the Browns spent a first round pick on Johnny and everyone knows of his exceptional college career, so there is no doubting of the potential talent. The only question is will he seriously dedicate himself to playing the game of football at the highest possible level, or continue with his less-productive habits off the field? Only time will tell.

Manziel has since checked himself into rehab to try to find some answers and is expected to attend the Brown’s off-season workouts. That is some positive news but the Browns organization, along with NFL fans; need to see results rather than just words.

The Browns have also made a few moves this off-season, acquiring WR’s Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline. While those names are not extremely sexy in the fantasy world, they are a substantial upgrade from the 2014 WR corps made up of Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin. Bowe should hold value as most fantasy players will shy away from him after the touchdown-less 2014 season. Aside from that, he will be the focal point of the Browns passing attack whether it is McCown or Manziel throwing to him. But I wouldn’t expect too much from Hartline this season, as the Browns will primarily be a running football team.

As for the quarterback situation, we will have to wait and see how it all unfolds but the only thing stopping Johnny Football from being the Browns starting quarterback in Week 1 is, well, Johnny Football.

Related: Johnny Manziel out of rehab, expected to join Browns soon

Categories: 2015 Fantasy Football, Fantasy Football

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