They say the NFL Draft is the ultimate crap shoot. It's why teams go through the exhaustive research they do on players, especially players that they are considering selecting with their first round pick, and "double especially" if they are considering taking a quarterback, the veritable "face of the franchise."
It's why they do background checks. It's why they talk to coaches, professors, equipment managers. It's why they scour every frame of every shred of game film. They do it to reduce the odds of failure by a few percentage points.
That's what makes Johnny Manziel's crash landing in Cleveland so sad and, yet, so compelling. Hardly any research was necessary. All we needed to see was right there, on Instagram, on Twitter.
Johnny Football was a ticking time bomb, and six weeks after entering rehab, Johnny is still trying to diffuse himself.
At the local auto show in Cleveland on Monday, Browns second year head coach Mike Pettine revealed that his second year quarterback was still in a treatment facility that he entered on January 28 with the purpose of "[improving] in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate." The trip to rehab was announced publicly on February 3 by family advisor Brad Beckworth.
Manziel's struggles in his rookie season are well documented. In seven quarters of play, he completed just 51.4 percent of his passes for 175 yards and two interceptions. He looked completely lost in a season cratering 30-0 home loss to the cross state rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Off the field, things were even worse for the former Heisman Trophy winner, as there were several incidents ranging from scuffles with fans late at night in his apartment building to the team reportedly needing to come wake him up for injury treatment because he was so hungover.
How bad are things with Manziel and the Browns? Well, bad enough to where they forked over a three-year, $14 million deal ($6.25 million guaranteed) to Josh McCown, who was the primary reason that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the first overall pick, having gone 1-10 as Tampa Bay's starter in 2014.
Pettine, apparently unaware that the city of Cleveland is one giant Sarlacc pit when it comes to quarterbacks, thinks that McCown can give the Browns viable snaps as a starting quarterback next season.
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"If you talk to anybody that's been with him, they just rave about the character, the football aptitude, how he makes people around him better, just being an example, professionalism, maturity," said Pettine. "That's not why we brought him here. If we wanted a mentor, that's what you bring a coach in for. For me, [McCown] can still play. When the circumstances are right, he's shown he can play at a high level."
The Browns are also, reportedly, in the market to draft a quarterback (again) in late April. Manziel was the third quarterback in seven years on whom they'd used a first round pick (Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden being the others).
So, Texan fan, as you're lamenting Andre Johnson's reported hot pursuit for Indianapolis, just be thankful that you're not a Browns fan.