Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap sacks Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel during the Bengals' 31-10 victory Thursday, Nov. 5 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Bengals are now 8-0 on the season. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Nick Graham
Photo: Nick Graham

Johnny Manziel reveals just how unready for NFL he was to succeed with the Browns

Remember when the Cleveland Browns used a first-round pick in the NFL draft on Johnny Manziel? 

Well, it turns out that was an even bigger mistake than anyone might have realized at the time. 

Just ask Manziel. 

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner told the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday just how unprepared he was for the NFL – and how little the Browns did to make up for his shortcomings. 

In the full interview, Manziel takes the blame for his inability to adjust to life in the NFL before he found himself out of work and facing legal troubles in 2016. 

Some in the short-sighted social media hoard unsurprisingly accused him of “blaming the Browns” for his failures, but that’s not really fair or accurate. 

Manziel makes clear he fell short because he didn’t understand what it took to succeed at the highest level, a challenge no doubt faced by many rookies. 

(He’s also pretty brutal in assessing how little the spread offense at Texas A&M prepared him for playing quarterback in the pros.)

If the Browns did not provide an adequate safety net for him – or know ahead of time he would need more guidance than the average newcomer -- they do deserve some of the blame for the whole thing not working out. 

“I don’t know if I was just tired or overwhelmed with everything that was going on in my life – I’m not going to make an excuse for it,” Manziel said. “At the end of the day, it’s completely my fault in how I treated my job as far as being a first-round pick and a guy they wanted to turn a franchise around. I didn’t work hard enough to be that guy, and it’s a regret I’m going to have to live with.” 

Now married and sober, he is giving pro football another shot. 

What he hopes is a long road back to the NFL begins with something called “The Spring League,” that bills itself as “an elite developmental league & scouting event for professional football talent” in Austin, Texas. 

There are four teams in the league, and they will play two games apiece in April. 

Then what? 

Well, we know of a certain NFL owner in Southwest Ohio who loves nothing more than a good redemption story… 

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