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.