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Kyle Shanahan: Johnny Manziel is “very similar” to RGIII

Johnny Manziel AP

When the Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III in 2012, there wasn’t much pretense about making him fight his way into the starting quarterback job.

Griffin took over from his arrival in Washington and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan put together a scheme that Griffin ran well enough to win a division title. Shanahan is now in Cleveland after everything went south in a hurry for the Redskins last year and the Browns have opted for a different track with Johnny Manziel. They’ve made Brian Hoyer the No. 1 quarterback in spring practices and called Hoyer the better quarterback “by a substantial margin,” but Shanahan is still getting a familiar feeling when he watches Manziel play.

“Johnny and Robert are very similar,” Shanahan said, via USA Today. “They’re both talented guys who can make plays with their legs. But there comes a time in the NFL when they’re going to keep you in the pocket, and you’re going to have to have that ability to make the throws with your arm and mind. And Johnny, just like Robert, has that arm talent and intelligence to do that.”

Manziel moved from the third team to the second team in practice this week and the team hasn’t come close to ruling out Manziel starting in Week One despite their coordinated effort to start the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from the bottom. Shanahan didn’t veer away from that, saying whoever moves the team best will start, but he did say that Manziel has some “special magic, swagger” that you need to get the job done in the NFL and that he’s been “very impressed” by Manziel’s work ethic.

Over the next three months, Manziel will try to use those things to cut into the aforementioned substantial margin between him and Hoyer. Whether or not he does it by Week One, Shanahan wasn’t describing a player who will be spending a lot of time on the bench.

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71 Responses to “Kyle Shanahan: Johnny Manziel is “very similar” to RGIII”
  1. brandonj21 says: May 30, 2014 6:05 PM

    What do u mean Kyle ? He gonna run around too much and stay injured all the time ??

  2. juliusanonymous says: May 30, 2014 6:13 PM

    RGIII?

    That’s terrible news for Cleveland fans. Factory of sadness, indeed.

  3. f1restarter says: May 30, 2014 6:14 PM

    So he’s a fragile, overrated, egotistical blowhard too???

  4. citizenstrange says: May 30, 2014 6:15 PM

    “the Browns have opted for a different track with Johnny Manziel …”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The phrase is “a different tack” as in sailing.

  5. andrewluck12 says: May 30, 2014 6:15 PM

    So he has an over inflated ego, knees made of glass, and depends on a gimmicky offense? Dan Snyder and his minions will not be happy with the comparisons

  6. jdphx says: May 30, 2014 6:16 PM

    Injury prone? Cause Lil’ Johnny can’t play the same
    way in THIS league as he did in College.

  7. deangelo23hall says: May 30, 2014 6:17 PM

    Except he doesn’t have the arm strenght or speed

  8. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: May 30, 2014 6:18 PM

    Context. I’ll bet someone asked him if the two were similar at all and that’s his boilerplate answer. Why is this news?

  9. SeattleJones says: May 30, 2014 6:18 PM

    Ugh, I think other Hawk fans will agree that it’s becoming nauseating to have to hear about news from clearly inferior teams. Let’s just talk about DYNASTY-level teams, please.

  10. drfeelyouup says: May 30, 2014 6:19 PM

    Only Johnny Cleveland is better.

  11. laxer37 says: May 30, 2014 6:19 PM

    Except teams were aggressively trying to trade up to get RGIII. The lowly Browns apparently only became interested in Johnny after he slid to the end of the first round.

  12. ghjjf says: May 30, 2014 6:23 PM

    Very similar = bust

  13. pisano says: May 30, 2014 6:24 PM

    I’ll guarantee you this, if he tries to run around in the NFL like he did in college, he’ll get busted up in no time. This guy doesn’t have near the body nor the strength of RGIII. He’ll have a short NFL career if he thinks college ball relates to the NFL.

  14. skins1970 says: May 30, 2014 6:28 PM

    I am so tired of the bashing og RG3 he has done nothing to deserve the bashing he gets.

  15. cobibones13 says: May 30, 2014 6:30 PM

    He’s smaller and slower with a much weaker arm than RG3. But yeah, basically the same.

  16. andrewluck12 says: May 30, 2014 6:41 PM

    Ryan tannehill has won more games than bob griffin

  17. orivar says: May 30, 2014 6:45 PM

    pisano says:
    May 30, 2014 6:24 PM
    I’ll guarantee you this, if he tries to run around in the NFL like he did in college, he’ll get busted up in no time.

    ———

    They said the same about Russell Wilson. Well two years and one Superbowl later…

  18. qdog112 says: May 30, 2014 6:49 PM

    Yep one throws jump balls, the other has a gun. One has world class track speed and the other can be run down by DTs.

    Thank goodness for nepotism.

  19. aceakking says: May 30, 2014 6:52 PM

    “Johnny Manziel is “very similar” to RGIII”
    This is not good news for Johnny, is it?

  20. dws123 says: May 30, 2014 6:59 PM

    Definitely some similarities, but hoping the Browns can do a better job of keeping Manziel humble as opposed to that egomaniac in Washington.

    That said, it’s interesting to note the Holmgren was about to sell the farm to get RGIII then completely ragged on Johnny to the media. At least we know Holmgren isn’t beyond holding a grudge.

  21. revren10 says: May 30, 2014 7:01 PM

    That means he’s gonna be a Bust along with teddy bust water

  22. taintedlombardis says: May 30, 2014 7:02 PM

    The RG3 haters are pathetic. Kyle is also delusional. RG3 had arguably the greatest rookie season of all time.

    P.S. Luck still has way more turnovers in the worst division of all time.

  23. taintedlombardis says: May 30, 2014 7:04 PM

    Has Ryan Tannenhill made the playoffs? Do QBs win games or do teams? Defense doesn’t matter? Some comments are flat out embarrassing.

  24. taintedlombardis says: May 30, 2014 7:11 PM

    Andrew Luck has 8 interceptions in 3 playoff games.

  25. briscocountyjr says: May 30, 2014 7:13 PM

    So, just to summarize the main point- Hoyer is better than RGIII by a substantial margin. I agree…

  26. abninf says: May 30, 2014 7:29 PM

    Will Manziel give his fans the gift of a new personal logo?

  27. thereyougo2 says: May 30, 2014 7:30 PM

    Thanks Josh Alper for describing the Washington Redskins as such. See, no one was offended.

  28. andrewluck12 says: May 30, 2014 7:31 PM

    Playoffs in two straight years with an entirely rebuilt team? Awesome! You griffin homers are something else. You do realize while Andrew luck was breaking more records and getting ready for the playoffs griffin was sitting on the bench of a 3-10 team?

  29. s0merand0mguy says: May 30, 2014 7:32 PM

    skins1970 says:
    I am so tired of the bashing og RG3 he has done nothing to deserve the bashing he gets.
    —————–

    uhhhhh dude… You are a redskins fan….. Of course you don’t see reality (how much the skins got ripped off for RG3 and how he’s a 1st round bust) and only view football from this blurred perspective. It’s understandable.. it’s your own team why would you admit they are horrible?

  30. kwjsb says: May 30, 2014 7:35 PM

    Johnny Cleveland is nothing like IR3,
    IR3 = 6’2″ 217 lbs missing cartilage in his knees
    Johnny Cleveland = 6’0″ 210 lbs Knees still intact

  31. therealtrenches says: May 30, 2014 7:40 PM

    Wow…a failure of an OC, coming off of having done a horrible job for a failing franchise, gets a job at another franchise that’s even more adept at failing, and compares his disappointing, perpetually injured former QB to the new one, who already shows signs of “not getting it.”

    This is just a train wreck all around, isn’t it?

  32. dkalev says: May 30, 2014 7:42 PM

    “Andrew luck has 8 interceptions in three playoff games”

    Andrew luck has been in three playoff games… How about bob?
    -not a colts fan (hate them actually)

  33. dkalev says: May 30, 2014 7:42 PM

    I despise luck, actually

  34. dabmasterhap says: May 30, 2014 7:55 PM

    The hate fuels my soul to wreck this league. Bring it on…J2M

  35. raidermark says: May 30, 2014 7:58 PM

    Except Johnny Football is smarter.

  36. VondyP says: May 30, 2014 8:10 PM

    I think it’s pretty obvious they are gonna start Manziel week 1. No one is fooled.

  37. tomtravis76 says: May 30, 2014 8:16 PM

    This is Roberts last year in the NFL, he is too fragile to last an entire season. Tebow can’t wait to have his fellow heisman winner on the circuit talking about college ball.

  38. politicallyincorrect says: May 30, 2014 8:17 PM

    little Shanny is a hoot

  39. Matt dog from C-town says: May 30, 2014 8:19 PM

    Except Johnny got swag! so much envy and hate in this blog…..he’s gonna wreck this league and your feelings

  40. nomoreseasontix says: May 30, 2014 8:20 PM

    Kyle Shanahan is a guy who hasn’t had a ton of success and always seems to get fired not very long after arriving.
    Not exactly the guy I’m looking for wisdom from.
    Once pops fades away and the name has no impact, I’d expect him to disappear.

  41. ufanforreal says: May 30, 2014 8:25 PM

    SeattleJones says: May 30, 2014 6:18 PM

    Ugh, I think other Hawk fans will agree that it’s becoming nauseating to have to hear about news from clearly inferior teams. Let’s just talk about DYNASTY-level teams, please.
    ——————————————————
    LMAO, DYNASTY……your team has won I SB and will be lucky to win 9 games this coming season,LMAO dynasty

  42. kingkornkahn says: May 30, 2014 8:35 PM

    Jff will drink the blood the of this league and piss out the brown tears of the past. Rgiii is ok if he could stay healthy, but not worth the trade up. Let history decide.

  43. juliusanonymous says: May 30, 2014 8:40 PM

    If he wanted to make Cleveland fans feel good and give them a reason to be excited about Manziel, you’d think he might pick a quality winning QB like Russell Wilson. Especially considering Manziel was trying to compare himself to Wilson before the draft.

    RG3 is, and will always be, terrible. Just terrible. It’s hilarious to me that anyone takes that guy seriously. 3-13? ROTFL

  44. oldcracker says: May 30, 2014 9:00 PM

    Just read on Rotoworld that while Johnny Football went to Vegas over the Memorial Day Weekend, Josh Gordon was busted for speeding in Cleveland….and “his passenger” was busted for WEED! Not a big deal unless you’re fighting a year’s suspension with possibly a LIFETIME suspension for substance abuse!!! A career and a paycheck that most of us can only dream about.

    How stupid is this kid? Has he no grasp of reality?

    Goodbye Josh, we barely knew you. Sad.

  45. uglydingo says: May 30, 2014 9:04 PM

    Kind of ironic that the 2 QBs who enjoy scrambling and the limelight ended up playing for the Offensive Coordinator who’s a control freak. Johnny Football playing for Kyle Shanahan is a disaster waiting to happen. Spark meets oxygen.

  46. jollyjoker2 says: May 30, 2014 9:10 PM

    Johnny ME and RG ME …yes, very similar.

  47. skinsfan91 says: May 30, 2014 9:33 PM

    Anyone who can’t see that RGIII is due for a bounce-back year doesn’t know football. And by the way 21 td’s to 16 int isn’t that bad for second year guy who had no offseason. Eli Manning led the league in ints. for the second time yet he’s still capable of winning a SB.

  48. tennesseeoilers says: May 30, 2014 9:40 PM

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen an NFL insider say an NFL QB needs to have swagger. … Where do they get that? Swagger is not the same as confidence or toughness. Just a few impressive QBs not known for swagger:

    Roger Staubach
    Dan Fouts
    Joe Montana
    Kurt Warner
    Mark Brunnell
    Steve McNair
    Peyton Manning
    Drew Brees
    Russell Wilson

  49. truths4all says: May 30, 2014 10:20 PM

    With the upgraded defensive players Cleveland added, plus strength of schedule, it would not be a surprise if Cleveland finishes this coming season with a better record than the Redskins.

  50. dirtyhelmet says: May 30, 2014 10:21 PM

    So he’s an over hyped loud mouth that will take a few hits and he out of our faces for a while? I can handle that.

  51. sportsfan18 says: May 30, 2014 10:42 PM

    Russell Wilson IS good…

    BUT, he benefited GREATLY from their #1 in the league defense and the running of Marshawn Lynch.

    Wilson did NOT have to carry that team… and he did NOT carry that team…

    His was NOT to lose the game…

    Again, the kid IS good, real good.

    But it was MORE of a case of all things coming together to produce something very good… namely a Super Bowl victory.

    Put it this for those of you who don’t like what I’ve said so far…

    We all KNOW it’s a pass happy league and it has been for a while.

    This past season, Russell Wilson was 29th in passing yards per game for QB’s.

    28 other QB’s passed for more yards per game than he did.

    Again, he is good, but he didn’t have to go out and win games… he just had to not lose them…

    Wilson lucked out by going to a team on the rise and one who gave him a REAL chance to compete and win the starting QB job his rookie year.

    Good for Pete Carroll. Many teams and coaches would not have given him a real chance to be their starter.

  52. stevent92 says: May 30, 2014 11:00 PM

    So Johnny Manziel is a cornball brother too?

  53. bornahawker says: May 30, 2014 11:22 PM

    Except he is Anglo

  54. chinahand11 says: May 30, 2014 11:56 PM

    My first thought about this article was to wonder who in the H thought Shan the Younger had credibility? He and Shan the Elder put RG3 back in a game knowing he was injured, which made it worse … and on and on. Also stunning is that the Younger actually has an OC job. Man.

  55. fiverings37 says: May 31, 2014 6:56 AM

    yep, and with Shanahan’s playcalling, he will no doubt get injured similar to RG3 as well.

  56. GenXJay says: May 31, 2014 7:03 AM

    with all of the comparisons between Jonathan & RG3, I’m willing to guarantee that Donald Sterling could offer his opinion on one big difference between the two that nobody else sees.

  57. bucsorbust says: May 31, 2014 7:05 AM

    Johnny Football or Johnny Glass? The Browns should have gone for durability. RGIII learned his lesson after some awful rookie injuries. Looks like Shanahan hasn’t learned.

  58. bucsorbust says: May 31, 2014 7:14 AM

    Couch, Quinn, McCoy, Weeden. Hate to tell you Browns, but you don’t do well at picking QBs with high picks. You should have used the pick on elsewhere. There is a reason Johnny Football was passed on by 21 other teams. Brian Hoyer will give you a big dose of “told you so.”

  59. erock0129 says: May 31, 2014 7:55 AM

    Everyone hates my Browns….let’s wait and see the kid play, he MAY just light it up! He seems pretty intelligent to me, puts the work in, has the right attitude….Im used to the Cleveland hate, so it really doesn’t bother me. Everyone’s a quarterback guru here…YOU KEEP KEEPIN’ ON JOHNNY FOOTBALL!!!!

  60. erock0129 says: May 31, 2014 8:00 AM

    Also, I wanna point out what we ALMOST gave up for RG3….Mr. Farmer got a top db, a #1 pick next year AND a potential star quarterback. We never really know who’s gonna be great, but one thing I’m sure of….Mike Holmgren is a bloated, lazy has-been, and I’m DAMNED glad that Banner/Lombardi wasn’t running our draft. Great job Mr. Farmer. Go Browns.

  61. greymares says: May 31, 2014 8:07 AM

    Too early to comment on Manziel but Griffin is showing to many signs of BUST. You can’t be a me first guy and get the job done. This guy is maintaining the swagger that it took the great ones 10 yrs to acquire. At this stage of his game it should be “just get it done” and let the cards fall where they may. Griffen is trying to deal the cards and play the hand at the same time, That’s called solitaire.

  62. SAV says: May 31, 2014 8:31 AM

    In 3 years we’ll be calling him Jonny Foosball

  63. 1logicalvoicesays says: May 31, 2014 8:31 AM

    Oh, Manziel is an overhyped, injury prone QB also?

  64. geniusesq says: May 31, 2014 8:44 AM

    One is 6’2 220 4.3 forty, NFL Starter, Pro Bowler, NFC East Champ, Offensive ROY

    The other is
    5’11 200 4.6 forty, partied in Vegas

  65. 1bigtex says: May 31, 2014 9:51 AM

    Multiple knee injuries and multiple concussions for one of them. It’s hard to make plays with your legs once your knees are gone.

  66. bassplucker says: May 31, 2014 10:02 AM

    Shanny Lite is cracked. They’re not the same player at all.

  67. leatherface2012 says: May 31, 2014 10:17 AM

    browns go 0-23 including preseason. and they’ll lose 3 playoff games and the superbowl. so who cares?

  68. MichaelEdits says: May 31, 2014 10:22 AM

    I live in Charlotte. We noticed early on that Jimmy Clausen has that “special magic, swagger” too. How’s that working out for you, Pickle Boy?

  69. muencht says: May 31, 2014 11:32 AM

    Quote “Manziel has some “special magic, swagger” that you need to get the job done in the NFL”? What a load of crap. Peyton Manning has the magic, does not need the swagger. You need skill, not arrogance like Jonny Foosball.

    Why would Kyle S (rookie coach) compare Manziel to RG3 at this point when JF hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet? RG3 had a horrible year in 2013. He is another Mark Sanchez, he will get worse every year after a good rookie year.

  70. smartestmanonthecinder says: May 31, 2014 11:49 AM

    This sounds to me like Shanahan the Younger already working on his “Why Failing in Cleveland as an OC Wasn’t My Fault” talking points. He comes from a WCO background and is a control freak who hates improv-QBs, especially when they’re chatty with the media about stuff he thinks should stay private. He’s an Xs and Os guy who once said “I studied every potential Xs and Os play and issue possible. I spent my whole life working on that. My goal was that any question a player could have about anything on the field, I’d be able to answer it.”

    You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to figure out that his guy was Bridgewater, not Manziel. Bridgewater played in a pro-style WCO @ The Lou, committed his entire playbook to memory (and his Xbox, apparently), and NEVER mouths off to the media. The “100k Study”, the reports that Haslam made the call to take Manziel over his staff’s preference…absolutely believe it. No way Shanny wanted Manziel when he just got through failing publicly on all levels with the same type of (but vastly more gifted) player in RG3.

  71. hogheadgeez says: May 31, 2014 8:15 PM

    Sanchez had an average rookie season with the Jets, 2444 pass yd 15 TDs (3 rush) 20 INTs. His TEAM went deep into the playoffs. Griffin had an excellent season, 4015 total yds (800 rush) 27 TDs (7 rush) 7 TOs (5 INTs), for ANY QB, let alone one that’s a rookie. And he made the POs. And he had 2012 NFC title game loser and 2013 SB champ Seattle on the ropes before he was injured. In fact, the time he’s been out due to injury won’t amount to 3 full games combined. There are so many uninformed people on this thread it’s not even funny. If you don’t like him, fine, just say it. His “horrible” season is average for a 2nd year QB by any standard.

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