The Cleveland Browns were open to either Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel starting at the quarterback position this season, but it appears that the race is nearly over already.
According to a report from ESPN Cleveland, Manziel is struggling greatly early on during OTA’s and has look like a “fish out of water” trying to run their offensive system.
Manziel had a horrendous rookie season last year with the Browns, he threw for 175 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He did score his first career touchdown on a 10-yard touchdown as a backup against the Buffalo Bills. There is no question that he has the talent to play in the NFL, but he has a lot of work to do in order to reach the full potential that he needs to reach that level of talent.
He made the first step in the right direction this offseason by checking himself into rehab and trying to get his alcohol issue under control. That is a big step for him, but it is off-the-field rather than working on his game and trying to improve his craft.
At just 22 years old, there is still plenty of time for Manziel to get things back on track and become a legitimate starting quarterback.
Cleveland could very well end up giving up on Manziel if he doesn’t turn things around this coming season. They were already very frustrated with his rookie season, and not seeing improvement isn’t going to make things better. It will be very intriguing to see whether or not he is able to begin improving throughout his second season and force them to give him playing time if McCown isn’t able to lead the Browns toward the playoffs.
Playing a young quarterback is the best way to help him take the next step. Nothing can improve a player like experience, and sitting Manziel on the bench all year is not the way to figure out whether or not he could be a starter in the future at some point.
All of that being said, this is disappointing news for Manziel and his fans. Assuming the reports mirrors what the coaching staff is seeing, it doesn’t appear that Johnny Football is going to be seeing the field early this year.