When the Alliance of American Football went bust this week, it may have represented the end of Johnny Manziel’s professional football career: Manziel had already flamed out in both the NFL and the CFL, and with the AAF no longer an option, he’s running out of leagues.
But one of the coaches who worked with Manziel in the AAF says he’d vouch for Manziel with NFL teams.
David Lee, who was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Memphis Express, said he was very impressed with Manziel.
“I’m hoping and praying he gets another chance. My short experience with him was tremendous,” Lee told John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. “I really, really like Johnny as a person. Boy, he’s got a fire in his heart. He loves football. Gosh, he loves it. And he wants to be good. . . . He had been through hell and back from the time he left Texas A&M until the time he rolled into Memphis.”
Lee didn’t always feel that way: Lee was the Jets’ quarterbacks coach in 2014, when Manziel was drafted in the first round by the Browns, and Lee says now that at the time, he wouldn’t have wanted the Jets to take Manziel in any round of the draft. Now Lee thinks Manziel is “very humble, and very willing to listen and be coached.”
Will NFL teams listen? It still seems like a long shot. Manziel is more likely to play in the XFL than the NFL. But the coach who’s seen him most recently is willing to vouch for him.