Tag Archive | Manziel

Johnny Who? Browns Should Stick with Hoyer at Quarterback

By Alex Horowitz

He has never started a professional football game. He has thrown nine total pass attempts, only one of which was a touchdown. And yet when Johnny Manziel entered the game for the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, you would’ve thought he was the second coming of Peyton Manning, based on the reaction of football fans around the nation. “Johnny Football” is more so known for his off-the-field life rather than his football skill, but nowadays that is what captivates people; it’s like the whole Tim Tebow mania from 2011.

 

Sure, he was a Heisman award winner at Texas A&M, but even two years later he still is one of the more popular players in the National Football League. In this age of Twitter and other types of social media, our society has become fascinated with his “fun” lifestyle, for lack of a better term. While he parties frequently and has been arrested on multiple occasions, this should not impact his talent as a quarterback in the least; the hype has already been bought into though. Cleveland is strongly considering starting Manziel next Sunday versus Indianapolis, but they would be incredibly foolish to do so. Simply put, Manziel has not learned the ropes yet to succeed in this brutal league.

 

Normally, a young quarterback would need to prove himself over a fairly long period of time in order to win the starting job. In the case of Manziel, what has he done to boost his on-field resume? A 10-yard rushing touchdown started a comeback effort last week, but ultimately the Browns fell short. However, this literally was his only positive play of the season. The majority of his time has been spent on the sideline, learning the ropes from the coaching staff and incumbent starter Brian Hoyer. That’s not to say this experience is not beneficial, because there definitely is value in learning from a seasoned veteran. But the mental side is only half the battle. Having the ability to hit open receivers and escape pressure is an entire challenge in an itself, and one that Manziel is not ready for at this current time- no matter what the media or anyone else makes you believe.

The Manziel Hoyer controversy has Cleveland on the edge of its seat (Via AP)

The Manziel Hoyer controversy has Cleveland on the edge of its seat (Via AP)

Brian Hoyer certainly is not one of the top quarterbacks in today’s game. His 46.67 total quarterback rating this season ranks 28th among all qualified quarterbacks. Only a handful of signal callers are worse than him in that regard. He has not had much to work with though. His leading receiver, Josh Gordon, was suspended for the first ten weeks, and Cleveland’s running backs have posted the fifth-worst yards-per-carry average league wide. These excuses aside, Hoyer has led the Browns to a 7-5 start, which is the most important statistic of them all. His team is in the thick of the AFC playoff race, something even the most optimistic of fans would have been skeptical of months ago.

 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This will be a tough concept for Browns fans to accept, but unless they want to be heartbroken yet again, Johnny Manziel must continue to remain the backup quarterback. If the team decides otherwise, then another chapter of disappointment will be added to Cleveland sports lore. Unlike “The Drive”, “The Shot”, or “The Fumble”, this curse will be much more straightforward.

 

“Johnny Football”

 


Alex Horowitz is a senior at Briarcliff High School and is an aspiring sports writer. As a lifelong sports fan, he has rooted for the New York Knicks, New York Mets, and Detroit Lions. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhorowitz3

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2014 Mock Draft 1.0

By Ryan Crawford

Let me start off by saying this is a very interesting draft. While there are multiple Quarterbacks that everyone talks about, I don’t think they are on a level with many of the QB’s that have been top ten picks in the past. Of course the teams that generally need Quarterbacks reside in the top ten. You would expect some of those teams to trade down for some additional value but I don’t anticipate the teams looking to move up paying a steep price to move. Teams generally overpay for franchise QB’s and these guys don’t fit that description. Don’t expect teams to jump up for the strength of this draft, which are Wide Receivers, Tackles and a couple of Defensive studs at the top. The result will be a cat and mouse game and alot of picks that people will be shocked at, both high and low. It will be one of the hardest drafts in years to predict. Good luck to the experts on this one. Should be a lot of fun…

1. HOUSTON TEXANS- Jadaveon Clowney-DL- South Carolina

Texans need a QB but not at #1. Clowney is still the best player in the draft.

Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney's name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via US Presswire)

Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney’s name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via US Presswire)

2. ST. LOUIS RAMS- Greg Robinson- Tackle- Auburn

This guy is a mountain with huge upside. I expected Rams to try to trade down but the price might not be worth it if someone is not coming up to get a QB or Clowney.

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- Khalil Mack-OLB- Buffalo

The Jags need a QB bad and if they jump it would probably be Bortles but I think they wait till later rounds to grab the QB and keep building their defense.

4. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Sammy Watkins-WR-Clemson

Another QB needy team that will wait till later. Any QB coming in to a situation with Josh Gordon and this stud receiver will look better anyway.

5. OAKLAND RAIDERS- Jake Matthews- Tackle- Texas A & M

If Al Davis were alive, this pick would have Johnny Manziel written all over it. Does anyone ever really know what the Raiders will do? Matthews is the smart pick for a team in need of protection up front.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS- Taylor Lewan- Tackle- Michigan

The Falcons need linemen to protect Matty Ice and Lewan is the third tackle off the board early.

7. TAMPA BAY BUCS- Darqueze Dennard- CB- Michigan State

Defense, Defense, Defense for new coach Lovie Smith as the Bucs secure one of the top corners in the draft.

8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Blake Bortles-QB-UCF

Vikings sit tight and grab the only QB they really wanted for new coach Mike Zimmer.

9. BUFFALO BILLS- Eric Ebron- TE- North Carolina

Bills snag a big time weapon for second year QB EJ Manuel.

10. DETROIT LIONS- Mike Evans- WR- Texas A&M

Could go corner here but teaming Evans with Megatron makes too much sense and scares the heck out of opposing secondarys.

11. TENNESSEE TITANS- Justin Gilbert- CB- Oklahoma State

With the secondary defections in free agency, a big need for Titans is filled with this pick.

12. NEW YORK GIANTS- Anthony Barr- OLB- UCLA

Giants are in need of strong defenders and haven’t had a linebacker with this much potential in years.

13. ST LOUIS RAMS- Ha Ha Clinton Dix- S- Alabama

If the Rams can’t trade down off the 2nd pick, look for them to trade down here to add more picks later on. If they use the pick, a good safety is a big need and Dix is one of the top two. Calvin Pryor also a strong possibility

14. CHICAGO BEARS- Timmy Jernigan- DT- Florida State

The Bears need to beef up the defensive line and Jernigan brings the beef in a big way

15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- Aaron Donald-DT-Pittsburgh

The Steelers stay in town to pick the speedy, strong Donald. Another team that needs to rebuild its defense and this is a good start.

16. DALLAS COWBOYS- Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M

Nothing more than a hunch on my part, but imagine this guy playing for America’s team. Jerry Jones is never one to miss a good marketing opportunity and Tony Romo is 33 and not exactly Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Makes sense from so many vantage points.

17. BALTIMORE RAVENS- Odell Beckham Jr-WR-LSU

Ravens can really use another weapon for Joe Flacco and Beckham Jr is one of the best. Brandin Cooks could go here as well.

18. NEW YORK JETS- Calvin Pryor- S- Louisville

Yes I know the Jets need another receiver badly but this guy is a hammer and Rex is drooling at the thought of a young Ed Reed. The Wide Receiver class is very deep and they will get a couple in later rounds.

19. MIAMI DOLPHINS- Morgan Moses- OT- Virginia

It’s no secret that the Dolphins need some serious help on the offensive line and this guy should slot in at one of the tackles.

20. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Bradley Roby- CB- Ohio State

Even with the addition of Antonio Cromartie, the Cards could use a young corner and this guy has all the talent in the world

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Kony Ealy- DE/LB- Missouri

The Packers need a lot of help on this side of the ball and the versatile Ealy can play multiple spots. CJ Mosley is a possibility here as well.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- Brandin Cooks-WR-Oregon State

Doesn’t take the Eagles long to replace Desean Jackson with this speedster whom Chip Kelly knows well from his Oregon days.

23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- Kelvin Benjamin-WR-Florida State

Chiefs need more weapons for Alex Smith and Benjamin is a big target.

24. CINCINNATI BENGALS- Jason Verrett- CB- TCU

Marvin Lewis is concerned about his secondary and the corners are starting to run so he grabs a very good prospect in Verrett

25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- Louis Nix- NT- Notre Dame

A strong nose tackle prospect, Nix is a great fit for the Chargers D.

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Teddy Bridgewater- QB- Louisville

How many times have we seen this one. The guy a team was considering at 4 drops to their next pick at 26. The last time we saw this was with Geno Smith and the Jets last year. The Browns can’t believe their good fortune and the shouts of joy are heard all the way from Cleveland.

27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- Ryan Shazier-OLB- Ohio State

The Saints need to improve their defense and Shazier is a good step in that direction. He can play inside or move outside if needed at the linebacker spot.

28. CAROLINA PANTHERS- Zach Martin –T-Notre Dame

Looking for another Tackle, Martin falls right into the Panthers lap.

29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- CJ Mosley- ILB- Alabama

Another defender for the Patriots. A wide receiver is a possibility here or trading down as the Pats like to do.

30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- Marqise Lee- WR- USC

In need of another young receiver, 49ers are thrilled to get Lee at 30.

31. DENVER BRONCOS- Dee Ford- DE- Auburn

Think the Broncos need more defense? Me too. Another guy to rush the passer

32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- Ra’Shede Hageman- DT- Minnesota

What do you get the team that has everything? Another weapon for Russell Wilson? Another defender for a team full of stud defenders? Some protection for the offense? Just get the best guy available and at this point that is Hageman.

Three Intriguing Match-Ups for College Football’s Week 11

By Nick Vespasiano

(19) Wisconsin vs (25) Minnesota

As a native Minnesotan, it’s hard to feel anything but apathetic about Gophers football. So far this season they have exceeded everyone’s expectations but their own. Jerry Kill and this coaching staff have turned this team around, especially by playing to the strengths of the running game. Junior running back David Cobb has burst onto the Big 10 this season, rushing for 942 yards thus far and averaging 142 yards in Minnesota’s last four games. The key matchup will be this heavy run attack going up against a Wisconsin defense that has impressed all season. New defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s switch to a 3-4 scheme has worked wonders for the run defense, which ranks fifth in the country with 4.3 yards per carry for opponents. Last week the Badgers’ defense held an Indiana offense that is averaging 40-plus points per game, to just a field goal. The Gophers have their hands full on defense, with Heisman Trophy sleeper, sophomore running back Melvin Gordon and dynamic playmaker Jared Abbrederis highlighting Wisconsin’s offense. The main storyline here is the renewed rivalry. Wisconsin has won the last nine meetings but both teams go into the game at 8-2, making this matchup relevant for the first time since 2002. This Saturday will also mark my first Gophers game at TCF Bank Stadium, which should be cool.

Jerry Kill has done a fantastic job in the Twin Cities (Via AP)

Jerry Kill has done a fantastic job in the Twin Cities (Via AP)

(4) Baylor vs (10) Oklahoma State

Those poor Baylor Bears, they have to win out the rest of the season with no guarantee that it will even matter (sound familiar Ohio State?). This is arguably the hardest opponent on their remainder of their schedule and all signs point to a shootout. Baylor and Oklahoma State rank first and fourteenth respectively in points scored per game. I was surprised to see they both rank in the top-fifteen in points allowed per game but both defenses are inconsistent. For example, Oklahoma State held Mississippi state to three points and gave up 35 the next week to UT-San Antonio. However, OSU had a nice 52-34  win week 8 over Texas Tech, a team with a potent offense like Baylor’s. Both teams feature great passing offenses. Clint Chelf has impressed replacing JW Walsh at quarterback for OSU. While Baylor’s Bryce Petty sits third on most hypothetical Heisman ballots (including mine). The edge on offense here goes to Baylor because of their running attack. Star junior Lache Seastrunk is still injured but freshman Shock Linwood has replaced him effortlessly and has 812 yards on the season. Add Petty’s 10 rushing touchdowns and the ground as dangerous as the air against Baylor. Both teams rank higher than I would have expected. There are Big 12 title (and possible National Title in Baylor’s case) implications. The last 10th ranked team Baylor played was the Oklahoma Sooners on week 9, and they won by four touchdowns.

(12) Texas A&M vs (22) LSU

In last season’s matchup on 10/20, LSU defeated Texas A&M 24-19. Johnny Manziel played probably his worst game of the season finishing 29-59, 276 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, and just 27 yards rushing. That was in College Station. This year the Aggies travel to Death Valley for the first time in the careers of head coach Kevin Sumlin and repeat-Heisman hopeful Johnny Manziel. For LSU to earn a second straight win against A&M, they’ll have to keep the ball out of Manziel’s hands and that means running the football. Sophomore running back Jeremy Hill is averaging 6.8 yards per carry, totaling 964 yards and 13 touchdowns through week 10. He had 127 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in last season’s game and can expect to see a lot of action for LSU to keep the clock moving. Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger and junior wide receiver Odell Beckham are one of the deadliest QB/WR duos in the SEC. In the midst of a breakout year, senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger will at least have to play the “game manager” role well and above all, not turn over the ball. That was the key last season where LSU won the turnover battle with zero to A&M’s five. How well Manziel and A&M’s offense plays depends on LSU’s defense which has been inconsistent this season. Head coach Les Miles plans to regularly rotate two to three players at every position on defense to limit fatigue versus an athletic no-huddle offense. We’ll see if they’re up for the challenge, Manziel, Malena, Evans, and the top offense in the SEC have a tendency to tire out a defense.

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is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.