As the Browns continue to have no concerns about quarterback Johnny Manziel’s off-field antics, plenty of folks connected to the sport do.
Enter Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, who knows a thing or two about working hard and playing harder; he was a member of the notorious Cowboys of the 1990s.
“That lifestyle is going to be a short lifestyle — a short career lifestyle — if he continues that,” Smith told Shan & RJ of 105.3 The Fan Dallas/Ft. Worth on Tuesday. “As we used to say, you can’t keep burning the candle at both ends of the stick. The candle gets small fairly quick. Johnny is going to have to figure it out.”
Manziel has made no secret of his decision to drink champagne and/or to spray it on strangers in clubs.
“Hopefully he’s not doing anything to hurt himself outside of drinking — which is going to harm his body and harm his performance anyway,” Smith said. (Max McGee doesn’t know what Smith is talking about.) “At the end of the day, he’s going to have to learn manage those things.”
Emmitt was never linked to the White House antics of the Boys Will Be Boys Cowboys, who partied very hard in an era before cell phones and social media. Still, Emmitt admits that he had some growing up to do after entering the league.
“Johnny is young,” Smith said. “I was young and dumb myself at one point in time. But maturity itself, and maturing as a professional athlete, is something that is required of every pro football player. I think right now Johnny Manziel is going to get a glimpse of what negative press can do for you. A lot of people think negative press is good press — or any press is good press. It’s not.”
He’s right. While the coaching staff and front office seem to have no issue with the negative press, at least one teammate (cornerback Joe Haden) has suggested that Manziel tone it down. If others in the locker room feel the same way, it could be hard for Manziel to rally the kind of internal support he needs to be an effective starter. Or a starter at all.