Johnny Football has arrived at a crossroads.
Kevin Sumlin knows as much as anyone the good and the bad that surrounds Johnny Manziel, who won a Heisman Trophy with Texas A&M following his awesome 2012 season. And the Aggies head coach realizes that Manziel’s NFL career is slipping through his fingertips, especially now that the quarterback is without a team after being released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this month.
“Pro football is a job,” Sumlin said Monday on The Audible with Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel, per ProFootballTalk. “I know from his competitive nature he loves the game. Without a doubt, there’s a lot of things going on in his life that, if he’s serious about playing professional football, he’s got to change.
“Whatever that perception is has become reality for him, and he’s got to look that in the eye and say, ‘Alright, here’s a situation. Here’s what people think. What are the issues right now?’ He’s got to address those.”
Manziel’s hard-partying ways aren’t new. He’s been in the news for off-the-field antics dating back to his college days, only then his questionable behavior coincided with on-field success, making it somewhat less of an issue.
Perhaps an NFL team will take a chance on Manziel in the hopes he’ll finally live up to the potential that caused the Browns to draft him in the first round in 2014 (22nd overall). But first, the man known as “Johnny Football” will need to prove he’s serious about life on the gridiron.
“He’s a great competitor, and when he was here (with Texas A&M) he loved the game of football, he loved to practice, he loved to play the game,” Sumlin said, per ProFootballTalk. “That’s got to translate in his actions in the clubhouse or with his team. The perception that he doesn’t care, he’s got to deal with that, and the only way to deal with that is to show up and work at it every day.”
Manziel hasn’t proven himself on the field or off the field since entering the NFL. It’s time for the 23-year-old to change his ways before it’s too late — if it isn’t already.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images