Can RGIII revive a sputtering career in Cleveland?

Can RGIII revive a sputtering career in Cleveland?

Let’s go back to the 2012 NFL Draft. Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and  Robert Griffin IIIare going 1 and 2 but there was a lot of conjecture around who would go 1st to Indianapolis or 2nd to Washington. Indy just lost their all time QB in Peyton Manning and were looking for someone to fill his shoes. Do they go with the pocket passer or the elite athlete? They decided on the Stanford product and allow RGIII to go to the Washington Redskins, a team that went 5-11 the season before and had little to look forward to.

All that happened with RGIII as their starting QB was to go 10-6 and win the NFC East for the first time since 1999.  Consider that no rookie in NFL history has thrown for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns at a 65.6% completion rate. Others had more yards and others had more TD’s, but nobody had that package. Add to that 815 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns and it’s maybe the greatest QB rookie season ever.

After that… you don’t want to know. 3-13 in his sophomore season of 2013 and someone who looked more like an imposter running around in a Washington #10 jersey than the 2012 Offensive NFL Rookie of the Year. Mike Shanahan was out as head coach at the end of the season which spelt apparent doom for Griffin. And waiting in the wings was his fellow 2012 draftee Kirk Cousins. With RGIII’s struggles it seemed as only a matter of time before Cousins would take over as starting QB and send the #2 overall pick to the bench.

New head coach Jay Gruden appeared to have no loyalty to Griffin so had no issue with sending him to the sidelines and going with Cousins. The 2014 NFL season saw Griffin end up with just 7 starts (and a 2-5 record), a combination of injuries and indifferent form made him tough to rely on. Gruden then had a big decision… who to bank on as the franchise quarterback?

Unluckily for Griffin, it wasn’t him. Cousins took over as the starter for the 2015 season and led the Redskins to a division title for the first time since… 2012 and RGIII. How times had changed in the 4 seasons since being drafted. Cousins started a total of 9 games in his first 3 seasons (2-7 record) but exploded in his 4th season with 4,166 yards, 29 TD’s and an NFL best 69.8% completion. Griffin didn’t see action for the entire season and it was only a matter of time before he was done in Washington.

RGIII Throwing
This is the RGIII Browns fans want to see… just in a Browns uniform.

On March 7, 2016 that became official when he was released by the Redskins, at the same time all but securing the future of Kirk Cousins. But not all is lost for Griffin when 17 days later he was signed to a 2 year, $15 million deal by the… Cleveland Browns. They’ve put their own drama behind them (see Manziel, Johnny) and are looking forward with new coach Hue Jackson. Barring another signing or trade they will be going in with Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback.

As someone who enjoys watching immense talent my fingers are crossed that Griffin can stay healthy and get the support from Jackson and the offense he deserves. 

2016 MLB Predictions

2016 MLB Predictions

What do they say, opinions are like another name for your bottom… everyone has one! And this blogger is no exception (about the opinions, that is!). And with that in mind, here are my award winners for the 2016 MLB season.

AL MVP – Mike TroutAngels

I know, chalk pick. But come on, give me another name that you would instantly think of and not hesitate. All Mike Trout has done since entering the league is put up historical numbers, as well as finish 2nd, 2nd, 1st and 2nd in MVP voting since 2012. Also no player in MLB history has amassed the HR, RBI, Runs and SB in their first 5 seasons… and that includes his 2011 season of just 40 games! WOW!

Stanton
Seems as though the only person able to stop Giancarlo Stanton is Giancarlo Stanton…

NL MVP – Giancarlo StantonMarlins

Call me nuts but this will hit 60 home runs in a season, he was on pace last year for exactly 60 so go ahead, call me nuts! He can’t be THAT unlucky that he’s always getting hurt, there’ll be that magical season that he looks like a younger Barry Bonds and I think 2016 is the season. Also having Bonds as the Marlins hitting coach can’t do any harm… can it?!?

AL Cy Young – Chris SaleWhite Sox

He strikes out everyone and doesn’t give up runs… sounds fair enough, right? After an un-Sale like 3.41 ERA in 2015 he’ll back up strong, combine that with a stronger lineup and that should give him enough to beat out David Price.

NL Cy Young – Clayton KershawDodgers

Normally a guy have a season of 16 wins, a 2.13 ERA and 301 K’s they’d take out the Cy… but he wasn’t even the highest voted guy on his OWN TEAM! Until he’s no longer a MLB starting pitcher he’s going to be my choice for this award, bit like how Michael Jordan should’ve been MVP every season he was in the NBA.

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Byron Buxton represents the (hopeful) future of the Twins.

AL Rookie of the Year – Byron Buxton, Twins

It’s an obvious choice, I know! But of all the guys coming up this season he’s already cemented a starting position so barring a severe slump he should be good for at around 140 games. That alone should be enough for him to steal plenty of bases and (for my sake) hit a high enough average.

NL Rookie of the Year – Corey Seager, Dodgers

See Buxton, Byron. Seager has a starting job and a position in a fairly decent lineup sewn up and enough power to make a difference. Don’t expect the .337 average from his limited 2015 season but anything close to .300 will give him the first of many MLB accolades to come his way during his career.

World Series Teams – ???

So after 162 games and 2 postseason series there’ll only be 2 teams standing. Your AL representative will be the Houston Astros (yeah, I hear you booing). In that home park they are dynamic and their rotation will be good enough. Having picked up Ken Giles won’t have hurt either. As far as the NL is concerned it’s the Dodgers. Their lineup can be borderline Toronto like and led by Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen the pitching staff will be capable out West. And your 2016 World Series Champs? How about the Dodgers in 5 with Yasiel Puig as MVP.

Let’s wait until October to find out how accurate these are, but feel free to judge well before that!

Do the Golden State Warriors win 73 games? Let’s find out…

Do the Golden State Warriors win 73 games? Let’s find out…

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors 87-79 to (amazingly) close to within just 3 games of the NBA’s best team. After trying to match the Warriors at their own game back in January (and being blown out by 30 as a result) Gregg Popovich decided to play his way, slow the game down and pound the ball inside where Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge would have the advantage. The end result? Aldridge ends up with 26 and 13, Leonard ends up with 18 and 14… Spurs end up with the W.

So with their record now at 62-7 needing to go 11-2 to surpass the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls as the greatest single season team in NBA history… can they do it? For most teams winning 11 out of 13 is miraculous but almost seems pedestrian for the 2015-16 Warriors. And it looks even more likely when you consider the following…

  • 9 of their remaining 13 games are at home.
  • 6 of their remaining 13 games are against teams with sub .500 records (as at March 19, 2016).

Sounds like nothing more than a formality, right? Here are the cons…

  • 2 of their 4 road games are against San Antonio and Memphis.
  • They also hame games against the LA Clippers, Boston and Portland (who have already beaten the Warriors this season).

So… maybe not so much a formality. Let’s break down the remaining schedule 1 game at a time.

March 21 – Warriors at Timberwolves

Don’t see any problems here, they have a day to recover from their loss to the Spurs and prepare for the lowly T-Wolves who own the NBA’s 5 worst record. Warriors have already beaten them once this season, prepare for their second. (63-7 record).

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This ‘expert’ thinks Chris Paul and the Clippers will put an end to the Warriors unbeaten run at home.

March 23 – Clippers at Warriors

There’s some real danger here, the Clippers are playoff bound and have played the Warriors well with losses of 4, 7 and 3 this season. I think they (finally) put it together in a nationally televised and give the Warriors their first home loss since January 27, 2015 against Chicago. (63-8 record).

March 25 – Mavericks at Warriors

Warriors won in Dallas just 7 days prior, no reason to think they won’t win again at home. And coming off a (predicted!) loss they’ll be hungry to beat someone up. Warriors in a blowout. (64-8 record).

March 27 – 76ers at Warriors

Best team against the worst… Warriors win (65-8 record).

March 29 – Wizards at Warriors

The last of their 4 game home stand gives them another win, Wizards will be fighting for a playoff spot but totally outmatched here. (66-8 record).

March 30 – Warriors at Jazz

Utah played them close in their home game but were blown out in 2 Warriors home games. Might be close again but another Warriors win (67-8 record).

April 1 – Celtics at Warriors

It took 2 OT’s in Boston for the Warriors to eventually get the win but the safe confines of Oracle Arena will see them home. Also Boston will have played in Portland the night before, tough game on the end of a back to back on the road. (68-8 record).

April 3 – Trailblazers at Warriors

The Warriors have already returned the favour from their February 19 blowout loss at Portland and they’ll do the same again this time around, Golden State win (69-8 record).

April 5 – Timberwolves at Warriors

Nothing to see here, big win at home to give the stars some 4th quarter rest. The only celebration will be to crown the 2nd team in NBA history to win 70 games in a season (70-8 record).

April 7 – Spurs at Warriors

With a 1-1 regular season tie between these teams there’ll be a lot of juice in their remaining 2 games. Warriors have been unbeatable at home (until their loss against the Clippers, see March 23) so this will be another win, albeit a hard fought one (71-8 record).

April 9 – Warriors at Grizzlies

Even without Marc Gasol, Memphis is still within reach of a top 4 seed in the West which is remarkable. They have terrific perimeter defenders that can cause problem for the 3 point shooters but the class of the Warriors will win out, Golden State in a close one (72-8 record).

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The Spurs will ‘cook up’ a victory over the Warriors in their final regular season meeting on April 10

April 10 – Warriors at Spurs

The final regular season meeting between Ali and Frazier and it promises to be a beauty. Based on the above games the Warriors will have a chance to win their record 73rd game… but my money is on Popovich to have his guys ruin the party and send them packing. Warriors also playing in Memphis the night before will prove taxing. Spurs hold home court (72-9 record).

April 13 – Grizzlies at Warriors

So… it all comes down to the 82nd and final regular season game. They’ve had 3 days to rest and prepare and won’t want to leave the home fans wanting. Maybe Michael Jordan should plan a west coast visit, he can watch in person the team that will have removed his 1995-96 Bulls from the top of the list. Warriors win and secure their historic 73rd regular season victory (73-9 record).

I’m glad this is only one persons opinion… much more excited to see it unfold!

Keep your eyes on the NBA over the next 3 weeks, it’s going to be FANtastic (throwback to an old NBA promo for those that are old enough!).

 

What we can learn from Adam LaRoche

What we can learn from Adam LaRoche

I’m currently in the midst of preparing for the upcoming MLB season, which general means Fantasy Baseball! Now my weapon of choice is ESPN (my apologies to any other site) so whilst going through projections and determining which closers to take with my late round picks I’ve been trying to get myself up to date with the saga Adam LaRoche has found himself in.

Let’s not kid ourselves, there’s no job in the world like being a professional athlete. Whether it be baseball, football or tennis, there is always extra scrutiny placed on the behaviour of these people… mostly due to the amounts of money they make the rest of us can only dream of. But this story has raised some questions that I hadn’t previously considered.

If you’re like most parents you’re more than happy to head to work for the day knowing your kids are at school, day care or working themselves. Very few workplaces allow you to bring your kids to work, most of the reasons for this are obvious. They are a distraction, they get bored, they’ll hurt themselves or cause someone else to get hurt… the list goes on. Those that are professional athletes have the luxury of not having the traditional workplace where kids CAN be brought and, for the most part, be able to be themselves without any real fuss.

There are countless videos of stars either at practice (hello Peyton Manning) or at a press conference with their son or daughter (hello Stephen and Riley Curry). You’ll find very few negative comments relating to any of these examples. But what if Manning was rolling around with his kids and an errant ball flies in his direction? What if it his one of his kids? What if there was serious injury? And what about the kinds of conversations athletes have in locker rooms and clubhouses, are these really appropriate for kids?

Adam Laroche
LaRoche played 12 seasons with 6 different MLB teams, see his career stats here

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with pro athletes taking their kids with them to where they work (I wish I had a Dad who was playing in the NBA or MLB that I could’ve tagged along with!). I think it’s a great experience for them to be around people they might idolise, they get a chance to travel around the country and have many different experiences that lost of other families will never get the chance to take. But there’s that little part of me that worries that it only takes 1 time where a foul ball hits an unassuming child in the head or a unaware wide receiver doesn’t notice that someone has wandered out onto the field ’cause that’s where Daddy is for the naysayers to come out of the woodwork and cry foul (pardon the pun).

I applaude Adam LaRoche for his decision to leave baseball to be a more attentive father. Many, many fathers out there could take a leaf from his book in their own lives. As someone who accumulated almost $60 million it’s a little easier to make that decision that you or I. But he was a veteran of 1,605 games over 12 MLB seasons as well as hitting 255 home runs, good for 199th on the all time list so it’s not like we’re talking about someone who’s barely making the 25 man roster.

From the research I completed before writing this (and believe me, there was plenty!) there is very little (if anything) negative to be said about the type of man Adam LaRoche is. He was a great teammate, a terrific father, and a pretty good ball player. And if we have seen him on a MLB field for the last time he’ll have this… his last hit as a Major League player (2016 Spring Training) was a home run!

The ‘dynasty’ that is the San Antonio Spurs (cont.)

The ‘dynasty’ that is the San Antonio Spurs (cont.)

Se we left off with the San Antonio Spurs having won their first NBA Title in the lockout shortened season of 1998-99. They had arguably the best big man in the game in Tim Duncan and an ageing veteran star in David Robinson surrounded by a bunch of discards and role players. Now they were going to show off their prowess in the front office…

Manu Ginobili was a star in multiple European leagues, winning MVP’s and championships of his own. The Spurs saw greatness in him by snaring him in the 1999 NBA Draft… with the 57th (and second last) pick! Clearly the rest of the NBA hadn’t caught up with the immense ability players possessed overseas, it was either someone from the NCAA or free agency. After the Spurs waved their magic wand on numbers occasions, the rest of the league began to take notice.

Ginobili stayed in Europe for 3 seasons after being drafted and carved out quite the short career, averaging 17.3 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.4 apg and 3.2 spg… give any college player those numbers at shooting guard and they are (most likely) a lottery pick. When you come from the other side a very large ocean it’s a bit of a different story. Even after playing as a rookie in the 2002-03 season he only played 20.7 mpg and average just 7.6 ppg, hardly eye popping. But by that point the Spurs had pulled the wool over the rest of the NBA with another cagey draft pick that would set up their continuing quest of championships.

Tony Parker was taken with the very last pick of the first round (28th pick overall) in the 2001 NBA Draft. He was a (very) fresh faced 19 year old from France who had played just 8 professional games, granted he did average 22 ppg, 6.1 apg and 1.6 spg but still! Now, for those that are familiar with the ring leader of their ‘dynasty’ (Gregg Popovich) you’ll know he’s not the first guy out there shoving his rookies into the spotlight. But in the case of Parker he started 72 of the 77 games he played and even though his numbers weren’t that of a superstar (9.2 ppg and 4.3 apg) the savvy Popovich knew he had something special in his young point
guard.

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The cornerstone of the San Antonio backcourt for 15 seasons. Check out Manu Ginobili’s and Tony Parker’s career stats.

So, enter the 2002-03 season and you have 2
guys from Europe who many people would never have considered NBA quality playing integral parts in a team with their sights on another NBA title. Even players like Stephen Jackson (drafted 42nd overall in 1997 and started 58 games), Bruce Bowen
(undrafted but started all 82 games) and Malik Rose (drafted 44th overall in 1996 and averaged a career high 10.4 ppg) had all been bounced around the NBA prior to their stops in San Antonio but were vital to the team’s success.

The end result was a 60-22 record (ties for best in the NBA) and a 2nd NBA title for the Spurs in the last 5 seasons. Of course leading the way was Duncan and Robinson but their role players were as responsible for the championship as the stars. It was also a perfectly fitting farewell for Robinson who announced his retirement at season’s end. The keys to the team now belonged to Tim Duncan… and he knew just how to drive!

Led by Duncan with very able support from Parker and Ginobili the San Antonio Spurs won 2 more NBA titles in 2004-05 and 2006-07. The supporting cast had changed with former No 1 overall pick Glenn Robinson, “Big Shot” Robert Horry and Michael Finley among the ageing stars to jump onto the Spurs wagon. At the end of the 2006-07 season the Spurs had won 4 championships (from 4 tries) and Duncan had cemented himself as one of the very best to every play the game. Shaquille O’Neal aptly nicknamed Duncan “The Big Fundamental”… and he couldn’t have been more accurate! Talk about consistent, Duncan’s PPG average for his first 10 seasons ranged between 18.6 and 25.5, his RPG between 10.6 and 12.9 and his BPG between 2.0 and 2.9. He was a reliable as anyone in NBA history and his 4 rings (to that point) only backed that argument up.

But this group wasn’t quite done. The following 6 seasons all produced at least 50 wins, 2 trips to the Western Conference Finals and an NBA Finals but a 5th title was kept from their grasp. As the 2013-14 season approached not even the most optimistic of Spurs fans would think that they had any chance of another ring prior to Duncan retiring. Not that there was any sign that his leaving the game was close but with Indiana and Miami in the East and Oklahoma City and the LA Clippers in the West, it was always going to be tough.

Guess someone forgot to tell Pop, Duncan and the Spurs! They rolled through the regular season with a 62-20 record, best record in all the NBA and guaranteed home court throughout the playoffs.  The Spurs “Big 3” of Duncan, Ginobili and Parker were 37, 36 and 31 years old respectively with a LOT of miles behind them. Luckily for them they had support from yet 2 other sterling moves on draft day. With taking Danny Green (46th overall in 2009) and up and coming superstar Kawhi Leonard (15th overall in 2011) they had arguably their most rounded team since Duncan was drafted. Even guys like Boris Diaw (3 previous teams) and Patty Mills (55th overall in 2009 and average 10.2 ppg off the bench) were vitally important when the stars needed a break.

The end results was a playoff run that was almost executed in the first round when the Dallas Mavericks pushed them to 7 games. The Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder was then shoved aside to set up the dream return matchup from the 2013 NBA Finals… LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Only problem was… they ran into Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs…

kawhi-leonard-images2
These hands stopped the Miami Heat and held the Larry O’Brien and the NBA Finals MVP.

HUH?!?!? Did you say Kawhi Leonard? Yep, you read me correctly. I don’t think the NBA viewing audience took the skills of Leonard seriously (he was good, don’t get me wrong) but he was trusted with the seemingly impossible task of trying to defend LeBron James… on his own… by himself… 1 on 1! No problem, says Leonard. Now people are going to look at LeBron’s numbers (28.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 57.1 FG%, 51.9 3PT%) and say “what are you talking about, LeBron killed it”! On the surface, that may be true. But Leonard being able to at least stay with LeBron meant that nobody else was free to do what they would normally do when LeBron gets double and triple teamed. As a result, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both had sub par Finals performances and weren’t able to damage the Spurs the way they would’ve liked. Oh, Leonard also averaged 17.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 1.6 spg to win the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

So, there you have it. A (more drawn out that first planned) breakdown of the San Antonio Spurs and their rather extraordinary success over the last 19 seasons. If it is that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili depart the NBA at the end of this season, they will have left behind a legacy few will be able to match. Undoubtably Hall of Fame bound they showed the NBA and the world what great team play and smart coaching can lead to, something a lot of people overlook for the search of the next Sportscenter Top 10 play.

In conclusion, all I have to say is… you will be missed.

 

The ‘dynasty’ that is the San Antonio Spurs

The ‘dynasty’ that is the San Antonio Spurs

Understandably, the current NBA season has been all about the Golden State Warriors. When a team is on pace to set the single season records for wins and their best player is showing you things that none of us have ever seen before, it’s easy to see why that is. But the San Antonio Spurs are quietly putting together (possibly) the second best single season ever.  And it’s not like it should really be a surprise… they’ve been doing it for 20 years!

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The Admiral was voted as part of the 50 greatest players ever, see why here

David Robinson is a Hall of Fame player and was one of the dominant centres in the NBA since joining the league in 1989-90 after serving time in the Navy.  All he did was average 24.3 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.9 bpg and 1.7 spg en route to winning Rookie of the Year and spots on the All NBA 3rd team and All Defensive 2nd team… as a ROOKIE!!!  For the next 6 seasons he cornerstoned the small market Spurs with such stellar play that earned him his only Most Valuable Player award in 1994-95, but his teams could never overcome those in front of them. Sadly for Robinson and the Spurs they just couldn’t get over those in front of them come playoff time, with eventual Finals teams Phoenix (1993) and Houston (1995) knocking them out of title contention. Something needed to change… and it came in the most unlikely of forms.

Heading into the 1996-97 season Robinson was hampered by a bad back which held him out from playing until December 10, 1996 against the Phoenix Suns. He battled through his back pain but the worst was yet to come.  On December 23, 1996 in a home loss against the Miami Heat the Spurs heart and soul suffered a season ending ankle injury… and with that went any chance of a successful season for the Spurs. They ended up with the 3rd worst record in the NBA at 20-62 but the prize all teams were looking at in the upcoming draft was Wake Forest product Tim Duncan.

And what would you know… the Spurs end up with the No. 1 pick and (surprise, surprise) pick Duncan to play along side Robinson.  And the dynasty of the San Antonio Spur was born.

duncan-college
Duncan has been the picture of consistency as his career stats show.

Duncan was the rare college player, even for the mid 90’s.  He stayed at Wake Forest for 4 years before de

claring for the NBA draft. He was touted as the best player in college basketball for (at least) his junior and senior seasons so whoever owned the worst record the season prior to the ‘Duncan Draft’ was looking at a winning lottery ticket. Lucky for the Spurs they managed to sneak past the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Boston Celtics to snag the No. 1 overall pick. All that San Antonio needed now was to ensure David Robinson would recover from his broken ankle to form one of the most formidable PF/C combinations in NBA history.

Luckily for the Spurs… that’s exactly what happened.
All that happened in Duncan’s first NBA season was…

  • San Antonio set the NBA record for the biggest turnaround in wins from the previous season with 36 (previous record was 35 by the Boston Celtics in Larry Bird’s rookie season).
  • Duncan averaged 21.1 ppg, 11.9 rpg and 2.5 bpg to become the first rookie to be named All NBA First Team.
  • A second round loss to eventual NBA Finalists Utah.

All things considered, a pretty successful season considering where they were a year prior. If only they could forsee what was to come…

The following season was marred by the NBA Lockout which saw the season reduced to just 50 games after the season began in early February. That didn’t seem to phase the Spurs who ended with the league’s best record at 37-13. Would this be the season (however short) that they would break through for their first NBA title?

Spoiler alert… it was!

By going 15-2 during the playoffs they had one of the most dominant postseasons the NBA has ever seen. And even though it was still David Robinson’s team it was the 2nd year big man Duncan who lead the way, averaging 23.2 ppg, 11.5 rpg and 2.6 bpg. This was the season that Tim Duncan introduced himself to the NBA and the world as the next great big man in the game, but even the most optimistic of Spurs fans couldn’t predict what the next 15 years was to produce.

Tune in next time when I break down from 2000 onward as well as how having a top shelf front office can pay dividends in the biggest possible way.

Until then…

The rise and (dramatic) fall of Johnny Manziel

The rise and (dramatic) fall of Johnny Manziel

Who’d have thought just 2 years ago that this would be the end result for Johnny Manziel.  One of the most exciting players in college football history, he was seen as the revitalisation of the Cleveland Browns and their long history of ineptitude.  Jim Brown aside the Browns have been the poster boy for all that is terrible in professional sports, making Cleveland the most title baron city in America.  For a franchise to have only 2 seasons in the 21st century without a losing record and all but 4 of those seasons spent at the bottom of their division… you make up your own mind.

Johnny-Manziel-walking-away
Where will Johnny Football walk to next?

 

But on May 8, 2014 their hopes and dreams seemed to be looking brighter with the drafting of the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.  Having thrown for 63 TD’s and only 22 INT’s over his 2 seasons at Texas A&M he appeared on the outside as someone who the Browns could build around and look to the playoffs in the near future.  Little did they know that the next 2 NFL season would be a roller coaster ride seemingly never to end…

Even before his first college game the writing seemingly appeared on the wall as to what was to come with charges of disorderly conduct and possession of a fake drives licence among the list filed against Manziel.  Some might say that he was only in the wrong place at the wrong time and simply standing up for a friend, but others will say that it was a subject of the company he kept and unless he made a drastic change these kind of incidents were only going to continue.

Sure enough, they did.  And Cleveland (on outward appearances) kept enabling his behaviour.  Imagine if this was happening to a player under the watch of Bill Belichick or Ron Rivera… god help that player!

 

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Manziel takes a 74.4 career passer rating in 15 games to his new team (Career Stats).

Now, this might seem to be an editorial on how much Johnny Manziel is a spoilt little brat who needs a good clip around the ears and pulled into line… and to some degree you are correct.  But it’s time that teams and the league administration got together to come up with some kind of policy that will help players that are clearly struggling with something in their personal lives that is negatively impacting their profession.  If there was a doctor, lawyer or council worker who was going through some kind of personal issue, you don’t think there would be people there to support them?  In this case (and many like it any professional sport) there seems to be a culture of “well, we tried but let’s cut them and make him/her someone else’s problem”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Browns provided Manziel with many forms of help during his time in Cleveland, but the public perception is that he’s more trouble than he’s worth and that another team can roll the dice.  Will that be Dallas, where Texas revere him and hold him up higher than superbly cooked BBQ ribs?  We know it won’t be in Houston where the Texans have just signed Brock Osweiler to a 4 year/$72 million contract (by the way… WOW!!!!!)… so where do Manziel end up on the NFL quarterback merry-go-round?

Only time will tell, but for Johnny Football’s sake, it’s somewhere that will fit his mind and his personality.  Not always is it about where you can get the most money or which team can win a Superbowl right now, sometimes you just need to be content with where you fit.  Fingers crossed the show fits this time.