Manziel’s career was Jon Gruden’s biggest QB Camp surprise

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Jon Gruden’s nine-year career at ESPN included the excellent QB Camp series, which featured a more raw and rough version of Gruden, interacting with selected members of the incoming class of quarterbacks.

During a recent visit to PFT Live, I asked Gruden to identify the quarterback whose career surprised Gruden the most, given his expectations after working with the player.

“Man that’s a good question,” Gruden said. “Johnny Manziel was the most disappointing, just because the outcome of his career. I got criticized a lot for trying to pump him up during the draft. I really thought he has just an incredible playing style that would service him well. I was really shocked at his downfall and demise from football, but hopefully he can come back and play somewhere someday, because I sure enjoyed being around him and watching him.”

Manziel, a first-round pick of the Browns in the same year the Raiders selected Derek Carr in round two, currently hopes to make a comeback in Canada. If/when that happens — and if/when he does well — maybe an NFL team will be interested. And maybe Gruden’s Raiders will be at or near the front of the line.

35 responses to “Manziel’s career was Jon Gruden’s biggest QB Camp surprise

  1. Gruden’s QB camp was embarrassing, shows how terrible he is at evaluating talent to be quite honest. Manziel stood no shot at making in the league, even if he weren’t a complete screw up, he was a talentless hack. And that is far from the only mishap he had on that show. I know it was a tv show and he had to be positive but to genuinely think all of them were that great of players? Just dumb.

  2. Pushing Manziel shows Gruden as a bad HC – too busy eulogizing a guy’s talents to see the whole package, let alone fix it. Gruden’s first year in Tampa went 12-4 and won the SB thanks to inheriting Dungy’s team, and the following 6 years there went 45-51. Overall as HC he’s 95-81 (.540).

    And he STILL whines about the 2001 Tuck Rule, which was correctly applied. What he (and others) overlook is earlier that season the Pats lost a single-score game after the Jets were gifted a Tuck. That result changed the eventual seeding. Instead of facing the Jets in the wildcard the Raiders would have likely played the (then AFC) Seahawks, whom the Raiders had split the regular season with, and so he might not have even got to play the Pats. A whiny, mouthy, average, overpaid coach, going to a whiny average team with an overpaid QB. Congrats.

  3. Manzeil did flash talent on occasion, before completely unraveling, but I always thought Case Keenum, who also played for Sumlin, was a more consistent less hyped version of the same type of player.

  4. Manziel isn’t getting hired because he can’t be relied on. If he has a big game he might just run right out to a bar. He just can’t handle his juice and treats women horribly. I’m pretty sure half the 1980 Raiders were wasted just hours before playing the Super Bowl but they had no problem showing up to every practice and game on time. That’s what Johnny football lacks, commitment to a group of people other than himself. I don’t think it has as much to do with his partying as it does with his decision making, or lack there of.

  5. Having watched him as a Browns fan (and a football fan) I can tell you unequivocally that Manziel did not flash talent on occasion. He isn’t a very good QB at this level, and I don’t think he ever will be. His game is suited for college, but even watching him there (I also live in Texas) I never thought he was going to make it in the NFL.

  6. Manziel had a lot more football talent than his detractors give him credit for. Roll the college tape. Unfortunately, his reputation and amount of time away from football have ended his chances of playing in the NFL. Too bad. He could have been fun to watch.

  7. Being athletic is not the same as being talented. He was a competitive student athlete. He was never a very talented quarterback. A coach who can’t see that shouldn’t be coaching in the NFL. This type of poor evaluation is why the same handful of teams are always bad and the same handful of teams are always good.

  8. The scary thing is that if Gruden had been Raiders HC in 2014 he would’ve pushed the team to reach for Manziel rather than picking Khalil Mack, and Carr would’ve landed elsewhere.

    Gruden’s talent evaluation skills have always been questionable at best. I still remember how in his 1st Raiders stint he pushed Al Davis spend high draft picks on Matt Stinchcomb & Marquest Tuiasosopo – both busts.

  9. Manziel decided he didn’t want to play, but instead be a celebrity. Gruden, or no one could have predicted that.
    _______________________________________
    What? You didn’t see his shenanigans at Texas A&M?

  10. streetyson says:
    January 20, 2018 at 6:20 am
    Pushing Manziel shows Gruden as a bad HC – too busy eulogizing a guy’s talents to see the whole package, let alone fix it. Gruden’s first year in Tampa went 12-4 and won the SB thanks to inheriting Dungy’s team, and the following 6 years there went 45-51. Overall as HC he’s 95-81 (.540).

    And he STILL whines about the 2001 Tuck Rule, which was correctly applied. What he (and others) overlook is earlier that season the Pats lost a single-score game after the Jets were gifted a Tuck. That result changed the eventual seeding. Instead of facing the Jets in the wildcard the Raiders would have likely played the (then AFC) Seahawks, whom the Raiders had split the regular season with, and so he might not have even got to play the Pats. A whiny, mouthy, average, overpaid coach, going to a whiny average team with an overpaid QB. Congrats

    ———

    This take is wrong from top to bottom. Gruden built the Raiders into a Super Bowl caliber team that got there the next season and fell off a cliff after that. Easily could have gotten there the two previous years in Oakland if not for Siragusa cheap-shotting Gannon in the AFC Championship Game and then of course the awful tuck rule. Gruden’s Bucs in the latter years had very little talent. Part of the problem was all they traded away to get Gruden (two 1s and two 2s). But he still squeezed winning seasons out of that group.
    As for the Tuck Rule, I didn’t think anyone but true NFL flunkies was still pushing that it was the correct call. Even Brady has admitted it was a joke of a call. Just Goigle the pic of him with two hands on the ball in front of his stomach an instant before Woodson makes the hit. This is common knowledge. It is true about the Jets play, but if you actually watch that play it was nothing like the Brady fumble. Not even close.

  11. Manziel might have made it as a Kordell Stewart slash type player. It was plainly obvious watching him play in college that he wasn’t an NFL QB. Amazing athlete who couldn’t read coverages to save his life. Move him all over the formation to create mismatches and stick him in the shotgun 3-4 times per game and he’d have been a star, potentially.

  12. skawh says:
    January 19, 2018 at 11:28 pm
    Manziel decided he didn’t want to play, but instead be a celebrity. Gruden, or no one could have predicted that.
    ————————————–
    Exactly. NFL busts are more often about lack of effort on the players’ part rather than a complete whiff on the level of talent. Manziel was a disaster primarily because he’s such a screw up – we’ll probably never know how he would’ve done if he’d actually applied himself.

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