McCown says Manziel has the talent, but has to love the game


Browns quarterback Josh McCown says his former teammate Johnny Manziel needs to decide which he loves more: Football, or having fun off the field.

“He has to eliminate distractions. All the things and people around him that don’t help him move forward as a quarterback, he’s got to eliminate them, get rid of them, they can’t be a part of his life anymore,” McCown said today on PFT Live.

McCown noted that when he couldn’t find a job in the NFL, he spent a season playing in the upstart United Football League because he loves football so much that he’d play anywhere. McCown questions whether Manziel loves football enough to do whatever it takes to keep his career afloat.

“I spent a year with him, and mentally and physically, he can do it. But he’s got to eliminate distractions and he’s got to move forward, and he’s got to ask himself, ‘Do I love the game?'” McCown said. “If ultimately, in his heart, he doesn’t love the game, he’s going to split his time between all these other things and trying to be good at football, and it’s just a hard sport to do that with.”

McCown said he thinks Manziel loves playing on an NFL team, but isn’t sure if Manziel loves the game enough to put in the year-round hard work that it takes to succeed in the NFL.

“It causes you to question whether or not they really love it,” McCown said of Manziel’s off-field issues. “I feel like when he was in the meeting, and he was engaged, he absolutely loved it. But it’s a 24/7 deal as a quarterback. That’s the mindset you have to have, and I think that has to improve before somebody will observe you and go, ‘Yeah, you love it.'”

If Manziel doesn’t love football, he’s probably done playing.

35 responses to “McCown says Manziel has the talent, but has to love the game

  1. McCown’s a class act and a good QB. I think the Browns should have stuck with him as starting QB, and I definitely think the Broncos should already have scooped him up. I’d start him over Sanchez for sure.

  2. Josh is right. I’m not one to sing the praises of Tom Brady, but he lives and breathes football and it shows on the field. I love his Under Armour commercial that emphasizes “Every Single Day.” If Johnny had his passion and commitment, I think he could be a good quarterback.

    For a couple games, I can’t believe I actually allowed myself to get excited about him.

  3. Josh is a good guy and a hard nosed QB. I’d like to see him stay in Cleveland another year. Good for the QB room because he’s the ultimate team player.

  4. Sorry this is moronic….The guy has severe addiction problems. ALL else in his life will not come before his addiction until he truly wants help and gets it. So far all the help is him going through the motions. He may have to hit rock bottom before he truly wants to change. Also a good chance it never ends, he destroys his mind and dies.

  5. Just how was he supposed to stay committed? Pettine never liked or wanted him. After Johnny played reasonably well and won the game at Tennessee he thought that he should have been the starter the next week. But what does Pettine do, he put him back on the bench and went back to Josh. That right there is when Johnny pretty much was done with the Cleveland Browns. He hated Pettine and figured he’d do whatever it took to get out, go to a team that really wanted him. No other team would have treated a first round Heisman trophy winning QB the way Pettine treated Johnny.

  6. McCown is the type of guy who is going to error on the side of good.

    But even then he basically says he doesn’t know if football is above partying to Manziel.

    That’s about as bad a quote as you are going to get out of McCown.

    Mentally and physically there are massive questions.

    What can we go by? The fact that Manziel isn’t anywhere close to prototype physically, and the fact he’s been injured a few times in limited duty. Physically the NFL seems above his pay grade.

    Mentally, they had to dumb down his offense, and only add like 3 plays a week. Whereas with some other QB’s, the team asks them to learn and add 50-100 plays a week. So mentally, he isn’t prepared.

    Then when you couple those physical and mental deficiencies with drug and alcohol abuse, alongside the late nights that hamper the mental growth and body’s regenerative capabilities and you don’t have a path to lasting NFL success. You have what we’ve seen, a flaming trainwreck of a burnout.

    We haven’t even talked about his bad leadership and that his temperament issues are running up against the league’s domestic violence program so we don’t even know if physically and mentally he was ‘ok’, if he would even be allowed to play because it strongly seems like he violated the domestic violence policy.

    For people who are blaming the Browns for Johnny, ROFL. How can Johnny stay committed? Simple, like every other NFL player, by being a professional like Josh McCown who stayed committed, and despite another competitor to him, is staying committed, even though he doesn’t even quite know if he will be on the team. McCown was a perfect person to put Manziel around. He’s not going to get anyone else close to McCown on that front. Yet it didn’t make an impact.

    Johnny’s problems are all about Johnny. Not the sport. Not the league. Not the team he’s on. Not the coach. It’s Johnny. ALL JOHNNY. Anyone who can’t figure that out by now is seriously handicapping themselves.

  7. You can blame the Browns because they ignored the outside evaluation and used the advice of a homeless guy to draft Manziel over Bridgewater. It was obvious to anyone that Johnny was a controversial partier. Haslam went for the short term boost in jersey sales (LOL Browns fans) and the flashy guy over the long term goal of getting a franchise QB. Teddy may not be the guy but he’s a heck of a lot better than Johnny and is still employed.

  8. Hes athletic but he lacks size. His arm strength is okay but he doesnt love the game or care about studying. He looked good in college because he was athletic, its the NFL. everyone is athletic you need to study the playbook and film. It’s really not surprise he was OWNED by Hoyer and McCown in QB competitions the past two years. Seriously, I doubt it was close. Everyone saying Pettine was dumb to not start Manziel. What coach would start a kid based off his college film and his lackluster NFL practices? I’ll take the veteran that studied and can recognize coverages/blitzes over some kid who thinks he’s still in college and doesnt need to study the film. I doubt Manziel resurfaces because hes a drunk, conceited, and possibly a woman beater.

  9. “Just how was he supposed to stay committed? Pettine never liked or wanted him. After Johnny played reasonably well and won the game at Tennessee he thought that he should have been the starter the next week. But what does Pettine do, he put him back on the bench and went back to Josh. That right there is when Johnny pretty much was done with the Cleveland Browns.”

    avenger9800 must be a millenial This is the attitude of a millenial. If I don’t get what I want, it’s somebody else’s fault.

  10. You’d think it was pretty clear by now that Johnny had already voted for the “party” party.

    When he runs out of money he will announce a 2nd coming/rebirth and try and make it somewhere but that might be after the train has left the station.

    We’ll just have to wait and see but the smart idea is not to lend him any money right at the moment.

  11. Andy Dalton has the love for the game….he just doesn’t have the talent. Maybe the Bengals can pick up Johnny and combine him with Dalton to create a single QB that can win a postseason game.

  12. Manziel gives hard working rich kids a bad name.

    It’s not the money his family has… it’s his pure laziness and unwillingness to put forth the effort.

  13. I had to laugh when fanboys were comparing Johnny to partiers like Stabler, Favre, Namath, Lawrence Taylor, or Michael Irvin.

    1) Those guys still worked their tails off and 2) were enormously talented. Johnny has neither of those attributes. Manziel is more like Matt Leinart. He was propped up in college by being surrounded by superior talent and coaching. They were vastly overrated and thought the world revolved around them.

  14. Hey Grand Dad, Stabler had quite a stable of females when he played in Denver. He often didn’t go to bed until 5am game day and would show up at the stadium reeking of booze (and would beat the bejesus out of Denver). Read the biography entitled “Snake” to see how hard he worked at his craft. Get your facts straight next time. And honey, I ain’t your fan boy!

  15. Point being that love of the game trumps partying. Stabler et al got by because they loved to compete as well as party. Johnny only loves the attention.

  16. avenger9800 says …After Johnny played reasonably well and won the game at Tennessee he thought that he should have been the starter the next week. But what does Pettine do, he put him back on the bench and went back to Josh….

    Yep, that’s what you do in the NFL. When your starter is injured, your backup plays. Then, when said starter is healthy, he goes back to being starter. That’s the way it works. You even admitted that he only played “reasonably well”. Oh, poor little Johnny got his entitled feelings hurt cause he thought he was soooo good. NOT. He wasn’t even that impressive against the freakin’ Titans for crying out loud and you fan boys thought he should be given the starting job despite his lack of interest and lack of real improvement. The only time Johnny had a good play was when he forgot to do his checkdowns and took off…making it up as he went. That was good enough for Texas A&M but not for the NFL.

    Give it up. There was a damn good reason for Pettine and company to not like him. There was a good reason the locker room wasn’t behind him. His lack of work ethic and continous belief that he didn’t have to do anything to earn the respect he thinks he should’ve gotten were his downfall. He’s useless for the NFL and needs to get his act together before he ends up killing himself

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