On Saturday night, the Detroit Lions face off against the Cleveland Browns in week one of the NFL preseason. As it has been well documented by now it will be the NFL debut for Browns’ quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel has made headlines all offseason in only ways he can, but now it will be time to put the “football” back into “Johnny Football.”
Manziel was the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft by the Cleveland Browns after playing college football at Texas A&M. Manziel has been questioned his entire career about his size, arm strength and leadership qualities. He has been able to put all those questions to rest so far in his football career and will have to do so once again at the NFL level.
Manziel was the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy when he took home the award in 2012. Manziel brought Texas A&M to a level of recognition they have never experienced before he arrived on campus. Johnny football will now have to realize he isn’t in college anymore and that Saturday his professional career begins.
Manziel will come to a town that hasn’t won a championship since 1964 when the Browns won the NFL Championship. He will be looked at to basically restore the city as a football town in his own unique way. Manziel has already become one of the NFL’s top selling jerseys and brought media attention that few have done to the Browns’ organization.
Saturday, Manziel will step foot on a NFL field for the first time in live game action and his every move is surely going to be criticized and critiqued. He will be looking to show the Browns’ coaching staff that he has the ability to make tough passes against NFL defenses, scramble to make plays with his legs and bring a competitive spirit that the Browns need.
The Browns will start Brian Hoyer at quarterback Saturday against the Browns, but Manziel should see significant playing time. There have been reports that the Browns could possibly start Manziel at quarterback in their second preseason game, but that is still to be determined.
Sure, it will be a NFL preseason game, but with Manziel making his NFL debut it will be anything but an ordinary preseason game. It will be step one in his journey of becoming a success at the NFL level or another Browns’ quarterback draft bust. It will make headlines either way it plays out, but he has the tools to be successful at the NFL level if given a fair chance.
The Browns face off against the Lions Saturday, August 9 on the NFL Network. The action begins at 7:30 eastern in what will surely be an electric scene. Manziel starts his NFL career and takes a step towards possibly earning the Browns’ starting quarterback job for the 2014 season.