Haslam needs to take a chill pill
Didn’t take long for Johnny Manziel to become a lightning rod in Cleveland. It took less than a week after he was drafted.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III told Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon Monday in Canton that Manziel “is not the starter. Johnny’s the backup.” And he should start acting “like a backup quarterback.”
First of all, Haslam should have referred all personnel questions to either his general manager or head coach. And neither of them was present at the luncheon. All Haslam does is sign the paychecks. Other than that, he should learn to be more diplomatic and keep his opinions to himself.
And there is no second of all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Manziel nonsense has officially begun and we can thank the club owner for that.
Regarding Manziel’s playing status, it is ludicrous for anyone to say anything remotely resembling where he stands. No rookie is anointed the starter even before picking up a football. No one.
And who proclaimed him the starter? Maybe it was a broad assumption among the fans, but no one from the organization came out and declared him the starter. Mike Pettine has all but said Brian Hoyer is the incumbent and there will be a competition for the starting job.
Where and when did Manziel pronounce himself the starting quarterback? I must have been off the planet when he said that. We know he is an uberconfident young man and has designs on the starting job. But we also know he’s smart enough to keep such lofty goals to himself. He doesn’t need to be slapped into place.
It is entirely possible Manziel will come to training camp and blow the coaching staff away, much like Russell Wilson did a couple of years ago in Seattle. But it’s only May. We’ve still got a couple of months until training camp. It’s time to chill.
Why not allow the situation to unfold at its natural pace? No need to put this one of a fast track. The club has a rookie head coach. Let him grow into his job. Outside interference from the owner serves no positive purpose. He will have enough pressure as it is.
As far is pressure is concerned, Manziel just might be more than capable of handling it and emerging stronger for it. He certainly displayed that trait at Texas A&M while playing under a national microscope.
If he proves that’s the case, that makes it easier on his head coach and the offensive staff when it comes to making decisions.
There is no question the Hoyer-Manziel battle will be the highlight of training camp. It promises to be the main focus of not only the local media, but you can bet the national spotlight will make Berea a hot spot this summer.
The Browns don’t need Haslam to poke his nose in the spotlight. He's not the story. It’s time for him to slink into the background and let those he pays very well do their jobs.
It’s going to be a circus anyway once training camp commences. No need to add to the atmosphere.