If you're a Cleveland Browns fan, a Texas A&M fan, or just a dude who wants to see the NFL loaded with exciting players, then you were sorely disappointed by the overhyped and underwhelming rookie season of Johnny Manziel. The NCAA's first freshman Heisman winner started the year getting beat out for the starting job by career journeyman Brian Hoyer, and ended with him getting injured. In between he sucked total ass (i.e. a QB rating of 42.0), and faced many, many questions regarding his off-field conduct and preparation.
If you're good, people will look the other way. If you suck (which he obviously did) then people want to see a change, either in behavior, or by replacement. Today, in comments to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Manziel acknowledged that his first year as a pro was less than satisfactory, saying (among other things):
"I have to take this a lot more seriously. It’s a job for me now. I still had the college mindset a little bit.”
“I haven’t painted the greatest picture of myself.”
“I’m not the Johnny Manziel that came in here a year ago. It’s been a year of growing up for me.”
He also brought up his go-to celebration, the money sign, which seemed to be more frequently used in a mocking fashion by opponents:
"No, I don't regret that. It's a part of who I was in college. You can't suck all the fun out of this game."
He also has no regrets, nor fears of being replaced already by an impatient Cleveland front office, adding:
"I don't feel like I would have done anything different.''
"I don't think it'd be fair to give up on somebody after seven quarters of football."
Unfortunately we'll have to wait about nine months before getting a chance to see the new, apparently more mature Johnny Football, since he's out this week due to an injured hamstring. It's up to you whether you believe he can fix his game (which may have more to do with his ingrained backyard gunslinging style) but if you want to put your faith in a millionaire first-rounder who got publicly wasted on a swan float, be our guest.
[via Mary Kay Cabot]
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