If the Browns Do Draft a Quarterback in 2016, what Happens to Johnny Manziel?

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Photo credit: Erik Drost

Author: Joey Carr

With the exception of maybe Tim Tebow, there has never been, in the history of the NFL, a more talked about BACKUP quarterback than Johnny Football. Yes, he was a polarizing figure in college football for two years. Yes, he won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman. Yes, he does party and get into trouble more than the average human being. And yes, he is a backup, and at one point third string, quarterback for the most laughable and disappointing sports franchise of possibly all time: the Cleveland Browns. So why do we talk about him so much? Because the media made him a much bigger deal than he needed to be, which can, to a point, contribute to his immaturity and partying ways. Think about it: has there ever been, in any sport at any level, a spotlight bigger than the one unwillingly placed on Johnny Manziel after he won the Heisman? Maybe, but Johnny has to easily take the cake for this century. He was only a teenager when all of this scrutiny and limelight was bestowed upon him; it just seems natural that no teenager or 20-year old could handle that kind of pressure. So, Johnny turned to partying. And that’s not to say that he wouldn’t have partied a lot even if he didn’t have so much pressure, but the media certainly didn’t help the maturity of the young Browns QB. But, even with all of the glamor and media attention, Manziel finds himself on the backend of the quarterback totem pole for Cleveland of all places and with the NFL Draft coming up, the Browns might end up having to take yet another “Franchise Quarterback”. And if they do, what happens to the former TAMU Aggie?

I’m sure a lot of you are suggesting that Johnny should just cool down, lay low, pay his dues, and return to Cleveland for a third year and enter another quarterback competition during training camp. While that seems all nice and dandy, there’s one person that might throw a cog into that plan: head coach Mike Pettine. Pettine does not like Manziel at all, that much is clear. He refuses to let him develop as a starter and he’s constantly finding new ways to keep Manziel off the playing field. Of course, Johnny doesn’t make it easy on Pettine to let him get playing time with all of his off the field antics. For example: Just a couple of days after being named the full time Starting Quarterback for the Browns, a video surfaces of Manziel partying on the team’s bye week (week 11). The video shows Johnny holding stacks of money while clearly intoxicated, which violates his rehab probation. The Browns wasted no time in demoting the former Heisman winner to third string, effectively ending Manziel’s reign as starter after only one short week. However, after Josh McCown was sidelined with a collarbone injury after Monday’s dramatic loss to the Ravens, you would think, “Well now they have no choice to start Manziel. I mean who are they going to start instead, Austin Davis?” Well as it turns out that’s exactly what Cleveland did. That move makes it apparent that the Browns have no interest in furthering developing the young playmaker, thus raising the question, “What happens to Johnny in the offseason if the Browns draft a quarterback?” The answer is simple: Manziel gets shipped off to a willing buyer/risk-taker.

While it’s known that Johnny Football is a troublemaker, it’s also known that he is a natural playmaker. He can maneuver his way out of trouble in the backfield (if only he could do that off the field) and escape a sack better than almost anyone in the NFL. His passing is average, but can get much better if he’s given the opportunity to develop it. The Browns, clearly, aren’t interested in doing that. With an aging and injury-prone Josh McCown as their number one QB going into 2016, Cleveland might have no other choice but to take a quarterback given that they are poised for another high draft pick. There are a couple of appealing options that they could consider: Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Paxton Lynch of Memphis, Trevone Boykin of TCU, and the list goes on. Although, given their rich history of drafting quarterbacks in the draft, the Browns might want to steer clear of yet another wasted draft pick. But it’s the Browns, and if anyone can screw something up, it’s them (refer to Monday’s loss to the Ravens).

It’s obvious that Cleveland and Johnny Manziel aren’t a good fit, and perhaps never were. In the eyes of most NFL fans and experts, it would best for the two of them to go their separate ways and try to advance themselves without one another. The big question is, however, who would be willing to take a chance on the former Aggie? That question might soon be answered, and we might be seeing Johnny Manziel don some new colors and be partying in a new town come next fall.

Possible Landing Spots for Manziel (In order from most likely to least likely): Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams.

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Battle of New York a much closer match than years past:

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Photo credit: Mike Morbeck

Author: Jon Kuzma

When the New York Jets and the New York Giants take each other on this Sunday in the Battle of New York, the match up will be much closer than in the past. Usually it’s the Giants who have the advantage heading into the game, the team who clearly has been the more significant New York team of recent. However it’s the newly led Todd Bowles Jets that come into the match up with a better record sitting at 6-5 on the season. Which leads one to believe that the Jets at the moment are the king of the big apple. In a city that Eli Manning has brought two Lombardi trophies back to. Gang green is all the talk of the town with their talented wide receiver duo in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Along with their very stout defensive front which includes Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, and Sheldon Richardson. One notable loss for the Jets however is the fact that the team will be without star player Darrelle Revis who is out nursing a concussion. For all the defensive pressure the Jets can get upfront it will be tough to win without key pieces on the back end like Revis. Especially when you factor in how truly talented the Giants are in their passing attack. While Peyton Manning has struggled this year and has been sidelined by injury. Brother Eli Manning has been striving, throwing for 23 touchdowns and 3,021 yards on the season. With talented wide receivers like Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle, and Hakeem Nicks. The Giants can beat you a number of ways through the air. Will those key players be enough to get pass the Jets this Sunday? It’s hard to say, the game could really go either way. It will come down to which team wants it more and which team can execute better. Right now the trend tells you the Jets are going to win. However you should never count out Manning and the Giants. They’ve earned their respect through winning on the big stage. Regardless it will be a great match up this year at MetLife stadium.

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Week 13 Power Rankings

Panthers at Ravens 9/28/14

Photo credit: Keith Allsion

Author: Joey Carr

1. Carolina Panthers

2. New England Patriots

3. Cincinnati Bengals

4. Arizona Cardinals

5. Denver Broncos

6. Minnesota Vikings

7. Seattle Seahawks

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. New York Jets

10. Kansas City Chiefs

11. Houston Texans

12. Indianapolis Colts

13. Atlanta Falcons

14. Green Bay Packers

15. Washington Redskins

16. New York Giants

17. Chicago Bears

18. Buffalo Bills

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20. Oakland Raiders

21. Jacksonville Jaguars

22. St. Louis Rams

23. Miami Dolphins

24. Detroit Lions

25. New Orleans Saints

26. Philadelphia Eagles

28. Baltimore Ravens

29. San Diego Chargers

30. San Francisco 49ers

31. Tennessee Titans

32. Cleveland Browns

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Ravens beat the Browns in stunning fashion on the last play of the game:

Saints at Ravens 8/13/15

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

We’ve all heard it before, football is a game of inches. Yesterday’s match up between the Browns and Ravens was no different. On the last play of the game the Cleveland Browns lined up to kick a 51 yard game winning field goal. Only to have the kick blocked by Ravens’ defensive end Brent Urban. The ball was then scooped up by the Ravens’ Will Hill who took the blocked kick all the way to the end zone for a Ravens game winning score as time expired. The play left Cleveland fans demoralized after the Browns found yet another creative way to lose a football game. Finding ways to lose is almost a skill for the Browns considering the fact that the Ravens were without Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett, two of the Ravens top offensive players. Yet that didn’t stop the Browns from playing lackluster, losing starting quarterback Josh McCown, and keeping Johnny Manziel on the sidelines when McCown went down. The troubled quarterback out of Texas A.M (Manziel) was the Browns starter just a week ago before losing the Browns trust after a video of him partying was leaked. Regardless of Manziel’s choices off the field, he would of certainly gave the Browns a better chance to win the game over McCown and Austin Davis. As far as the Ravens go they deserve a lot of credit for coming into the game and doing what they were supposed to do. This team has struggled all season and to find a way to win with out Forsett and Flacco is good momentum for this football team moving forward. If they can improve a little bit on the defensive side of the ball and have a good offseason in free agency and the draft. This team might be able to take that next step heading forward next season. The rest of this year should be ironing out wrinkles for this Ravens team.

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Broncos knock off undefeated Patriots in overtime 30-24:

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Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Denver Broncos were able to do what no other team in the league were able to do this far, beat the New England Patriots. In a game in which Tom Brady was able to throw for 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. It was the ability of the Broncos defense to make the Patriots offense one dimensional that really played a factor in the game. While Brady had success through the air, the Broncos D were able to completely eliminate the Patriots rushing attack. LeGarrette Blount was the Patriots leading rusher and he only had 27 yards on the ground. Also despite Brady’s three touchdown passes the Broncos defense were also able to sack Brady three times. And as we all know getting pressure on marquee quarterbacks is the key to beating them. This case was no different and the other piece of the winning formula was the Broncos rushing attack. Cj Anderson was able to contribute 113 yards and 2 touchdowns to the Broncos offense. His efforts were then complimented by Ronnie Hillman who rushed for 59 yards and touchdown. It’s tough to beat a football team that runs the ball effectively and plays solid defense. That has been the recipe for the Broncos success all season long. Believe it or not they also took a step forward with Brock Osweiler at the helm as well. At this point of his career the young passer provides the Broncos offense with more arm strength than Peyton Manning does. That youth has ignited a spark in the Broncos offense and the team is making more big plays down field through the passing game. It will be interesting to see if the Broncos stick with Osweiler when Manning returns from injury. It’s very likely that they will.

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Fitz magic wills the Jets pass the Dolphins 38-20:

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Photo credit: Marianne O’Leary

Author: Jon Kuzma

Ryan Fitzpatrick did his part today in the Jets win over the Dolphins throwing for 4 touchdowns and 277 yards on the day. After battling an injury on his non throwing hand which would ultimate lead to surgery. Fitzpatrick was able to bounce back in a big way leading head coach Todd Bowles to his sixth win on the season. The Jets are a completely different team from just a year ago and a legitimate playoff contender. The Dolphins found that out first hand today when the Jets defense were able to sack quarterback Ryan Tannehill 3 times and intercept him once. Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson led that defensive attack upfront each registering a sack apiece. It truly starts with those guys along with Leonard Williams upfront for the Jets defense. By pressuring opposing passers they can shake quarterbacks rhythm and timing. Allowing the Jets to tilt the odds in their favor. Offensively Chris Ivory had a decent day on the ground. Rushing for 87 yards and 1 touchdown in the game, truly giving the Jets offense a dual threat attack both through the ground and the air. Brandon Marshall who the Jets acquired via trade from the Bears this past off-season is justifying the teams decision to bring him on board. Marshall hauled in 2 touchdowns receptions and contributed 131 yards to the Jets offense. Showing he is as good as advertised. Eric Decker was also able to bring in a touchdown reception and 62 yards receiving. Keep an eye on whether or not the Jets can make a wild card spot down the stretch of the second half of the season. For the Dolphins they are facing another season of mediocrity. The Dan Campbell luster has worn off and the Dolphins problems from early on are showing their selves again.

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Week 12 Picks

Week 12 Pics

The Cowboys were negligent in rushing Romo back:

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Photo credit: Billy Bain

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Dallas Cowboys hit a new low when Tony Romo’s CT scan showed that he suffered a hairline fracture in his left collar bone after taking a hit in the Cowboys loss against the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving day. As much as it’s easy to bash the Cowboys for signing Greg Hardy, this is almost a more serious offense in some ways. The Cowboys showed they have no concern for a players health by rushing Romo back. The players aren’t human to Jerry Jones they are a piece of the puzzle that make up Jerry’s bigger dream, winning a Super Bowl. Whether you are a Cowboys fan or not in some ways there has to be concerns with how the Boys treated this situation. If Romo is getting rushed back, what other players are getting put on the field prematurely? It’s more of an ethical issue more than anything else. Whether guys think they can go or not teams have a responsibility to ensure their players are medical cleared to play. While the Cowboys doctors gave Romo the green light to play one has to ask whether their diagnosis’s were unbiased and impartial? Clearly the Cowboys doctors went along with the master plan and wanted to put Romo back on the field to save the season. A season that was 2-7 at the time and beyond saving. When you are sitting 5 games below .500 there is no point in rushing your best player back to the field. The Cowboys should of understood that due to injuries to Romo and Dez early on, unfortunately this season was out of reach. We get it Jerry Jones is getting old and he desperately wants to see the Cowboys win another Super Bowl before he leaves this earth. That doesn’t give the Cowboys the right to throw all values and morals out the window. Above all that doesn’t give the Cowboys the right to put injured and unhealthy players on the field. The Cowboys should be ashamed for doing so.

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Cutler and Bears edge out Packers 17-13 on Thanksgiving:

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Photo credit: John Martinez

Author: Jon Kuzma

Jay Cutler is doing what he needs right now to win football games for the Chicago Bears. Most notably limiting turnovers and making the big throw when he has to. Cutler has done an outstanding job of coming back from an injury early on this season and winning a few games for this Bears team. Now the Bears are sitting with a 5-6 record with five games left in the year. While the Vikings most likely will win the NFC North division this year. It would go a long way in building for the future if the Bears could pass the Packers and secure that number 2 spot in the division. Remember everything starts with momentum in the National Football League. You win a few games here and there and suddenly you are a serious contender. The Bears established some great momentum beating the Packers today and that should carry over into next week against the 49ers. As far as stats go against the Packers Cutler finished with 1 touchdown and no interceptions. His only touchdown pass went to Zach Miller on a 3 yard pass down near the goal line. Alshon Jeffrey finished the day with 7 receptions for 90 yards. While Jeremy Langford finished with 48 yards rushing and Matt Forte finished with 44. The game was one of the rare situations where the Packers won in total yards and first downs achieved. However the Bears were able to win in the turnover battle and time of possessions. Defensively the Bears were led by Shea McClellin with 10 tackles. Lemarr Houston also recorded 7 tackles, a sack, and 2 tackles for loss. For the Packers Aaron Rodgers was able to throw for 1 touchdown and 1 interception. While Eddie Lacy ran for 105 yards on 17 carries. Defensively Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had 8 tackles for the Pack.

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Stafford and Johnson shine for Lions in Thanksgiving day match up:

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Photo credit: Mike Morbeck

Author: Jon Kuzma

Matthew Stafford saved his best game of the year for the people of Detroit on Thanksgiving. As most football fans are probably aware, the Detroit Lions play every Thanksgiving. So if you’re from the Detroit area watching the Lions is a year in and year out thing on turkey day. Lions fans must of rejoiced yesterday watching Stafford throw for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions on the day. Showing when he has time to operate he is still one of the most dangerous passers in the league. Whether Lions fans would like to admit it or not. Stafford is the best option the Detroit Lions have had at quarterback in a very long time. Now paired with the new Jim Bob Cooter led offense, the Lions are finally making some noise in the NFL winning their last 3 straight games. With five games left in the season will the Lions do enough to save Jim Caldwell’s job? If the Lions keep playing like this there is no doubt about it. The team seems to have ironed out all their wrinkles and are playing much better football these days. Calvin Johnson was finally able to get in a rhythm catching 3 touchdowns against the Eagles defense. If this team wants to have the success they had yesterday beating the Eagles 45-14. Johnson will have to be involved and be targeted early and often by Stafford. Rex Ryan said in press conference this week they are going to be forcing the ball to Sammy Watkins. That is exactly what the Lions should be doing with Johnson. While not the athlete he was in his earlier NFL days, Johnson can still be a dominant force when his confidence is up and he gets in the zone mentally. It all starts with Matthew Stafford getting the protection he needs from the offensive line and making it happen with Johnson in the aerial attack.

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