By Kirk Lang: Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden believes that quarterback Johnny Manziel has been dumped on far too much and he feels that he doesn’t deserve all the criticism that he’s been receiving from players, members of the media, and from NFL fans.
Haden says that Manziel is not a joke, as one unnamed player on the Browns team recently called him. Instead of Manziel being a joke, Haden sees him as a professional, and a hard worker in practice.
“Johnny takes too much bashing for nothing and the thing is that being a quarterback in the NFL is so much harder,” Haden said, via Cleveland.com. “They can’t do anything. If Johnny is to do anything that shows him having fun instead of being in the meeting room, they blow him up.”
In fairness to the 5’11” Manziel, he only had the opportunity to throw 18 passes last season in completing 10 of 18 passes for 175 yards with a completion percentage of 51.4 and a passing rating of 42. Interestingly enough, those 18 passes were spread out over four games in the 2014 season instead of in one game.
The Browns coach Mike Pettine kept Manziel on a tight leash, and never let him enough passes in any one game in order to get his rhythm. Instead of letting Manziel air the ball out 20 to 30 times in each game, Pettine had him throwing a small handful of passes in each game he appeared in.
It was basically physically impossible for Manziel to get enough reps to get in sync with the offense, and his results showed that.
If Pettine is going to stick around as the Browns head coach for long, it’s probably going to be impossible for Manziel to improve with him as the head coach. Pettine has the Browns running the ball too much, and when he does let Manziel get a rare throw, it’s generally been on 3rd and long situations with him having to convert a 1st down with the defenses coming after him in all out blitzes.
What Manziel needs is a head coach that knows how to run offenses, and work with quarterbacks. Pettine is more of a defensive coach, and he looks lost in trying to guide the Browns offense.