Browns are reportedly big fans of Johnny Manziel

photo2Are you ready for Johnny Cleveland? A report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora—yes, the same one that linked the Browns to Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Denver’s Adam Gase—was the second such published that linked the Cleveland Browns to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

La Canfora writes that the 6-foot-1-inch Manziel’s style of play is “perfect” for a Gus Malzahn-run offense. This report echoes that of Sports Illustrated’s Peter King who, just before the New Year, linked the Browns—one of just four teams that were credentialed to scout the Chic-Fil-A Bowl—to Manziel as one of the many reasons Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner are no longer in Berea.

Just last week, ESPN.com’s Todd McShay referred to Manziel as the “face” of the 2014 NFL Draft. McShay also has the Browns selecting Manziel in the latest iteration of his mock draft. Sure, it’d be incredibly stupid of the Browns to tip their hand as to the direction they would like to go come May, but let’s be honest here—this team has one glaring need and it has nothing to do with who wears the headset come Week 1.

The Browns may not be able to land a big-name, headline-writing head coach, but they have the chance to do it in the upcoming draft.

Man, it’s almost like someone hinted toward this moment a few weeks ago.

(Thomas Campbell/USA TODAY Sports)

  • 240

    This is more (all) Gus than Johnny…but is he an NFL coaching candidate if those 2 miracle plays don’t happen? Aren’t we rushing a bit moving him into the NFL ranks. Kelly had more success over more years at the college ranks. I’m just a little worried after seeing the disaster that was the 2nd half of the BCS Title game. 3rd and 4 on the 15 and a TD wins it. His team was averaging > 5 yards a carry….so they rolled the QB out and threw it out of the end zone? That was a national championship losing sequence to me. I need to see WAY more from Gus before I jump on the SEC hype train.


    I predict that the Browns will be reportedly “big fans” of at least 20 different guys from now until May.

  • Wow

    I cringe when I read these stories. I’d be so embarrassed if I were a journalist.

  • mgbode

    yes. either way, there is a big leap of faith involved (can his run-heavy spread work in the NFL? can he adjust? what staff will he hire?), but he was going to be right up on all the coach-of-the-year ballots for the turnaround job he did in Auburn this year and his past accolades.

    great HS coach at Springdale

    OC for Arkie teams that won SEC West (2006)
    OC for Tulsa (#1 offense, then 2nd) in 2007 & 2008
    OC for Auburn including Nat’l Champ 2009,2010
    HC for ArkieState (won Sun Belt) in 2011
    HC for Auburn (SEC champ; nat’l runners up) in 2012

  • mgbode

    no doubt, but the Johnny Football rumors go back at least to September. lots of stories about how big of fans we are of his. of course, this could all lead to a draft day where we feel the need to trade-up to get him because of the ghost chance someone else will take or trade-up to get him ahead of us.

  • cmm13

    In a related story La Canfora is a “big fan” of throwing anything at the wall in his office….anything.

  • Because if you’re going to make a mistake, do it with gusto

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Johnny Drama pfffft why not burn this mutha to the ground so bad Randy Lerner notices!

  • mgbode

    Be Bold!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Wait so is this pro or con for Malzahn?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea they’ll trade up a spot and trade away 2-3 of those 10 draft picks in order to achieve it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Mike Lombardi couldn’t have dictated it better! 😉

  • cmm13

    Seriously…. This kid will be the most hyped 4th overall QB taken in the history of history.

    I don’t count Tim Tebow because we all know he’s not a real QB to begin with.

  • Lucas Vaas

    Guys… you only let out that you are BIG FANS of someone when you want to create a market… to trade down! hey we’re taking him at 4 if you really want him you’ll have to pony up! classic draft strategy, sad because i want him but true none the less.

  • TNB

    I honestly dont see Manziel drooping to Cleveland at four. I really don’t see the Texans passing up on him, because he’s easily a safer, and arguably a more popular, choice for them than Bridgewater. I think Bortles or Bridgewater will be available at the fourth pick, which is probably more advantageous to the browns anyway.

  • More popular? I could maybe see that. But safer? I cannot even begin to understand how that would be.

  • Oh, you armchair GMs crack me up.

  • nj0

    While Manziel has his supporters in Houston, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that his popularity is so high as to force the front office’s hand.

    Houston is pretty well divided when it comes to the college football. UT is by far the leader with UH taking the role of local favorite. A lot of people were clamoring for Keenum (since he went to UH) after Schaub imploded. But there’s nowhere near that kind of love for the Aggies.

    If there was an electorate, I would think being from A&M would hurt more than help. If he went to UH or UT, sure. But A&M? Not at all.

    So don’t believe the Texans will do something stupid because of some local ties or pressure. They have been a very conservative, smart organization in terms of drafting. (Not so smart in the contracts they hand out, imo.) Granted it was a different GM (same owner though), but this is the club that passed on Vince Young, a guy who had (and still has) ridiculous regional fan support.

  • nj0

    This is what I want. Nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t think he went #4 either! 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Now you smell what the Rock is ‘cookin’! It’s the only way to make sure there isn’t a sequel Ripley.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    ESPN will love it!!!!

  • mgbode

    you are allowed to decide for yourself.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Go Ripley go!

  • BenRM

    And then, after a disappointing rookie season, we trade him to a midwest team, who lost their QB, in exchange for a late, first round pick?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    After watching this football team it’s more like electric chair!!!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sssssssssssssshhhhhhh that’s step 2.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I just liked the rhyme honestly I don’t even care as long as it’s a first time NFL head coach. I need another win.

  • BenRM


  • Eating Ben & Jerry’s on the couch by yourself: favorite pastime of jilted girlfriends and Browns fans everywhere.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Patriot fans prefer Laverne and Shirley but each to his own!!!


  • paulbip

    Why would it be “incredibly stupid for the Browns to tip their hand”. When picking 4th, it makes no difference at all what the browns say. Nobody is going to trade a ton of picks to steal anything away from the Browns..

  • You’re clearly an expert. 🙂

  • TheRobot57

    Hard Knocks here we come. Do we have a brown and orang fur coat and cigar ready for him?

  • Horace

    Don’t you mean that Mike Lombardi is a big fan of Johnny Manziel?

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Johnny Manziel is this year’s Brady Quinn or Geno Smith. Book it!

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Sure. Let’s take him. Be honest guys…ALL of the QBs out there carry risks. After a bajillion 4 or 5 win seasons in a row, I’d rather have the excitement of watching Manziel than convincing myself to get worked up over “best of the Big East leftovers” Bortles.

    I can’t remember which commenter said it, but someone on here was lamenting the fact that the Browns never draft the QB you can get excited about. It’s always some value pick, or a guy that scouts like, but the college highlights never look that impressive.

    Well, I’m ready for excitement. Bring that circus to town!!!

  • I much prefer my excitement be on the field, not the injured reserve list

  • C-Bus Kevin

    First, when I was referring to excitement, I was talking about on-field excitement. Second, where is it written that Manziel is definitely going to end up hurt?

    Is it his size? Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are both undersized, and they made it through the season. Meanwhile, Rothlisberger is one of the biggest QBs out there, and this was the first season in 2-3 years where he made it through 16 games as a starter.

    I guess my point is that he has no history of injury, so there’s no factual reason to suggest that he’ll be hurt more often other than to say “he looks skinny” or “he scrambles too much.” Lots of guys are running QBs now. Rodgers, Kaepernick, Wilson, Luck, etc. Whether or not he can be smart and get rid of the ball to avoid the big hit will determine how often he will be at risk for severe injury.

  • Rodgers, Kaep, and Luck have the size to sustain some abuse, though as Rodgers’ collar bone would tell us, nothing is a given for health. Wilson’s genius is his ability and intelligence to avoid the wear-and-tear that can happen when you scramble, and I’m not sure from what I’ve seen that Manziel is as wise with exposing himself to big hits. Drew Brees learned the hard way and adapted his game, though recovery from injury is a crapshoot and we can’t expect that everyone would survive similar injuries and go on to thrive. Of course every player on the field is subject to injury on any play, even without contact. But if you’re asking me to build my franchise around a top 5 choice, I’m going to avoid an undersized guy who relies on elusiveness (and benefitted from a fair amount of luck with some of the prayers I saw him toss into traffic). Sure, maybe he is the next Brees. Or maybe he underestimates pro speed and finds himself leveled by the likes of JJ Watt or Deshon Goldson, and the grounds crew spend 10 minutes picking pieces of him out of the field turf. Yes, big QBs get hurt, too. But I’m looking at the odds when I’m picking that high, and I don’t believe they are in Manziel’s favor.

    Believe me, I’d like nothing more than to be proven wrong–especially if we end up drafting him.