Tag Archives: Johnny Football


In order for the Indians to win the A.L. Central in 2014 they must get to at least 91 victories. Why 91? In the last five years the A.L. Central champ has won an average of 91 games. So with a (47-47) mark at the All-Star break, that means the “Wahoo Warriors” must go (44-24) in their final 68 games to have a chance to win the division. Last year the Tribe finished with 92 victories, but still finished a game behind division champ Detroit. So 91 is the minimum to avoid playing in that one game Wild Card scenario again.

Progressive Field Opening Day 2014

I love that the Ohio State Buckeyes have at least five night games this season.  Four of them are 8pm contests versus Virginia Tech, Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State, the other is a 6pm start against Cincinnati. There’s something special about night games in college football, especially when they’re played at “The Horseshoe” in Columbus. If you’ve never been to an O.S.U. game under the lights in C-Bus, you have three chances this season and I highly recommend it. The atmosphere under dark skies and bright lights is amazing. From the tailgating, to “TBDBITL” marching on to the field before the game and then performing “Script Ohio”, to the student section going crazy with the “Buckeye Bounce”, the “Quick Cals”, the O – H – I – O chant going around and around the stadium and then with the singing of “Carmen Ohio” following another Ohio State victory. So take advantage of your three opportunities this year and it will be a night you’ll never forget.

Ohio Stadium - Wide Shot

Even with LeBron James on the roster I’m going to have to disagree with Las Vegas. I don’t see the Cavaliers as the favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2015. The defending champs from San Antonio are back in tact and are at the top of my list. The Spurs are followed by the Thunder, the Clippers, the Bulls and then the Cavs for me. However should Cleveland G.M. David Griffin find a way to pull off a trade for Kevin Love while keeping Andrew Wiggins, I will be moving the Cavaliers up that list. How high? It all depends on who they have to give up in the deal with Minnesota and if necessary, a third team.

Pre-Powder Toss

Pre-Powder Toss

Not only will LeBron James help the Cavaliers, I believe he can help the Browns because he can advise, mentor and keep an eye on fellow “LRMR” client Johnny Manziel.  While I’m not worried with what the swan riding, champagne drinking, selfie taking quarterback has done off the field to this point, I will be watching closely to see if those actions continue during the football season. If they do, then I will be concerned, but I believe “King James” will set “Johnny Football” straight and put him in his place if necessary.

Manziel Questions Single photo

Thank goodness Tiger Woods is back playing on the PGA Tour. As good as all those other guys are, and they’re pretty good, it’s just not the same when Tiger isn’t teeing it up any tournament. Welcome back Tiger as “The Chase to 18” resumes with this week’s British Open.


Browns head coach Mike Pettine was asked today after practice if Johnny Manziel makes him aware of his weekend plans:

“No, because I told him I didn’t feel like he had to come to me every time he was going to leave town. The philosophy here is we’re not going to micromanage the guys. I was involved in an event this weekend that if there were some cameras at certain times, it probably wouldn’t have been the most flattering. It was a group of coaches out. We had a good time, but we were responsible. When it becomes irresponsible or becomes part of something that involves breaking the law or something that we feel is a potential problem, we’ll step in. (Browns player engagement director) Jamil Northcutt does a great job and (Browns player engagement assistant) Russell Maryland with the rookie programs educating those guys. We’re going to bring in speakers for those, not just the rookies, but the whole team just to kind of talk about all the potential issues off the field – everything from financial issues to drugs to alcohol to try to do our best to educate those guys so they make great choices when they’re out of the building.”

Mike Pettine

I have been saying the exact same thing for weeks now and I’m happy to hear Pettine say it as well. The Browns, fans and media should be more worried about what Josh Gordon does away from the field and not Johnny Manziel. Gordon has been in trouble with the league and the law. Johnny Manziel has not.

Kudos to coach Pettine. If Manziel’s off the field extracuricular activities affect him as a player or they become a  problem for the team, then the Browns should and will step in and say something or do something. But until that happens, to me, and it sounds like for Mike Pettine and the Browns, what Johnny Football has done off the field on his free weekends hasn’t been a problem.



The Roda Report Podcast on the topics of the day in 60 seconds or less. #RR60

Johnny Manziel Browns SI Cover Photo


Earlier this week I joined the Jason Smith Show on Fox Sports Radio to talk about, well who else, Johnny Manziel and his trip to Vegas!


Johnny Manziel Money Sign On Stage at NFL Draft


When the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel, they knew they were getting the “Johnny Football” persona too.  So when Manziel has time off to do what he wants and decides to go Las Vegas it’s going to be a big deal no matter what he does.

He could have stayed in his hotel or maybe just went gambling like many other 21 year olds do at one of the casinos along the strip and that would have been a major story because of who he is and what the was doing. That would have been guilt by reputation. I could just see the TMZ headline – “Did Johnny Football Gamble Away His Signing Bonus“!

But Johnny Manziel didn’t stay in and low key it in Vegas, instead he went out and had what looked to be a kick ass time with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski at a pool party with beautiful women in bathing suits and he also attended a UFC event. Call that one guilt by association if you want to because “Johnny Football” was partying with “Gronk” and hot women! So this WAS the TMZ headline –


Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2014/05/25/johnny-manziel-champagne-rainstorm-in-vegas-nightclub/#ixzz32nKmSKRa

Did either of them get in any trouble? Have you heard of any arrests or were there any altercations? Did “Gronk or “Johnny Football” break any laws?

Just because Manziel didn’t stay in Cleveland in between OTA’s doesn’t mean he did something wrong.

In fact he wasn’t the only Browns high draft pick who didn’t stay in Cleveland during the time off between OTA’s. Fellow first rounder and 8th overall pick Justin Gilbert was, based on the Instagram pictures posted by former Ohio State Buckeye and current Steeler Ryan Shazier, and  Instagram videos from Gilbert himself, in Miami, Florida hanging with some of the fellas over the weekend.

Ryan Shazier ‏@RyanShazier  1h

Let the night beginnings @bino6@jgil_4 40pvamu http://instagram.com/p/ocfLvPD_iI/ 

Ryan ShazierVerified account‏@RyanShazier

Last night Miami Nights!!!!!! @sds1_@jgil_4 40pvamu http://instagram.com/p/obaqO1j_op/ 

Justin Gilbert – http://instagram.com/jgilbert_21

Another Justin Gilbert Instagram post –

Shouldn’t Gilbert  be scrutinized too? I mean what on God’s green earth what was the 8th overall pick doing out of Ohio? Why wasn’t the higher of the two draft picks back in his hotel room near Berea, Ohio just studying his play book for the next round of OTA’s with the Browns? Granted he wasn’t caught on video with alcohol in his hands or posing for pictures with women in bathing suits, but like Manziel he decided to get away for the weekend.

Why? Because they’re young aduls with lots of money and access to a good time. So they go enjoy themselves and as long as neither broke any team rules or any state laws or jeopardized the safety of the United States of America, it’s OK and you all need to just relax.

If the partying or going out of town on off nights continues during the season and it affects Manziel’s or Gilbert’s performance on the field and hurts the team, then everyone has a right to be upset. But until it gets to that, and hopefully it won’t, everybody needs to just realize you’ve got a rock star in town who’s going to garner attention no matter what he does, and as long as he doesn’t hurt himself, somebody else or the team, again you all need to just chill, because Manziel’s not the only one doing it and he didn’t do anything wrong.


College basketball guru Dick Vitale told me in an exclusive 1 on 1 interview tonight why he thinks the Cavaliers should draft Duke small forward Jabari Parker with the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Dick Vitale Photo Siesta Key


Here’s what Browns head coach Mike Pettine had to say about rookie mini-camp over the weekend as he answered reporters questions on Saturday, May 17th.

Mike Pettine

On how the rookies have performed:

“It’s pretty good, a lot of good things on tape. I’ve never been part of a rookie tryout camp with this many numbers, but I thought that our staff did a real good job putting it together. I think it’s a credit to those guys, our [football operations department], that we were able to handle the flights, the travel and the logistics of getting those guys in here. We’ve had two good days so far and we’re looking forward to finishing it off right tomorrow. I think we’re going to find some guys potentially out of this camp. If I had to decide today, there are a couple of guys that we have some really good feelings about.”


On if the Browns were aware of quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains radio interview with an ESPN affiliate in Arkansas:

“Were we aware of it as an organization? Certainly, yes.”


On if Coach Loggains said anything that was possibly out of line:

“I don’t know if I would use the phrase ‘out of line.’ The story itself, the text message absolutely did happen because in the draft room, when I got it, I questioned Dowell as to whether he made the text up himself in order to get us to turn the card in. There were three players – I’m not going to go into the names ; (Browns QB) Johnny (Manziel) was one of them – that we targeted after we picked that were potential high-value guys for us that we felt that we were getting good value on. As the round continued to progress, one of the guys went that was getting close to the Eagles’ pick, when we knew that there was a pretty good chance that we were going to be able to jump up and take that spot. Then the other player went, and we knew that quarterback was a position that we were targeting and that Johnny was our top quarterback on the board. There was some excitement in the room building because we felt that we were close to getting him. When Dowell sent me the text that he wanted to come to Cleveland, I think that it just really added to the excitement in the room and were fired up to turn the card in.”


On whether he had to speak to Loggains after the radio interview:

“Did I have to speak to him? Not really. He knew how it came off, and he wasn’t in the draft room when [we drafted Manziel]. I think we were all excited because there was a situation that he was our top-rated guy, and we were getting a chance to get him and we knew it was mutual that he wanted to be here, and he and Dowell had developed a relationship over the course of the workouts and the visits. We see that as a positive.”


On potential concerns of the ‘Johnny Football phenomenon’ overshadowing the Browns:

“It’s a concern. It’s something that we have to address. We’re well aware of the persona. We’re well aware of what it brings. We’re excited about it. It’s something that we’re very willing to have come here, knowing that he has a chance to make us a better football team and a better franchise. It’s something that we weren’t going to turn away from, but as the head coach, it’s all about football for me and it’s all about the team. I know it already has and it probably continued to ruffle some feathers with how we handled some things – I’ll apologize in advance for that – but what we’re tasked as a staff to do is do what’s best for the football team. If there’s something that we feel that we can control that will limit the distractions that this will bring, then we’re going to go ahead and do it. It’s something that I know probably won’t be the most popular thing, especially on a national level, but we also feel that the credibility of the Browns, as far as what stock we have nationally, I don’t think we’re very highly thought of given the recent history of the team so it’s not really something we’re interested in playing into. We want to be in a situation where we want to kind of bunker in, build the best football team we can build and worry about winning football games in the fall.”


On impressions of Manziel following the first two days of rookie minicamp:

“It’s difficult in shorts. It’s very hard to evaluate just because you’ve got a bunch of receivers who are in here that are just learning the system, too. It can be a precision passing attack at times and it can get a little ragged when you have some guys potentially going the wrong way or not running the right route. I think he’s just concentrating now on just learning, as the other quarterbacks are, learning the playbook, learning the formations, learning the footwork. He’s really at the infant stages of his career here.”


On quelling the ‘phenomenon of Johnny Football’ and Manziel’s play:

“He does. I think it’s a situation of Cleveland is hopeful, as we all are, that he will become Johnny Football here and that will continue, but as we’ve talked about and the kid recognizes – he embraces it, too – that he hasn’t completed a pass in the NFL, scored a touchdown in the NFL. We don’t want to rush it. This is a classic ‘cart before the horse’ situation. We want it to be that way over time so I don’t think it’s a situation where we’re quelling it, but I just think that we want to temper it.”


On if he took notes in New York about how the Jets worked with former QB Tim Tebow:

“I had a notebook that I would put random notes in and kind of tuck away, but I don’t know that I ever physically wrote anything down. I think it was just more of looking back on it and talking to some of the guys that were there with me, how things were and maybe we should have done some things differently.”


On how his life as a coach has changed over the past two months, particularly now as head coach and with Manziel:

“That’s an interesting question. I just approach it the way I’ve approached it before: make a list in the morning of what you want to get done that day. I think when you sit back and try to soak it all in and wrap your brain around it, I think that might make it more difficult to deal with so I just try to stay focused on task by task, item by item.”


On his situation being one that could not have been imagined previously:

Yeah, that’s true. It’s been a whirlwind but it’s slowed down. I think after the draft it sped back up a little bit, the world started the spin a little faster, but it’s ebb and flow. I think things will get settled in and we will get in a routine here and get excited about finishing up through our OTAs and our camp and attacking things in training camp.”


On if there is something different about Manziel than other players:

“He is and that’s part of it. We talked about the ‘it’ factor and he’s got it. But we also think Brian (Hoyer) has it as well. I think all NFL quarterbacks have to have that swagger about them, that aura that it’s confidence and not cockiness. It’s a fine line. I think when he steps on the field based on what he’s done so far, and he’s earned it, that people look at him a little differently and expect a little bit more.”


On Manziel’s size:

“I think you have to be able to see football differently. You have to think outside of the box. I think he proved it at Texas A&M that he was able to put together ridiculous numbers in the SEC that he really is an outside of the mold guy. There are some quarterbacks in the NFL that have proven they can be successful as 6-foot, 6-1 guys. We want a quarterback that can maximize our chances to win. Is he in the classic mold? He’s not. But I think if you are creative and build the right team around him, you can be successful.”


On wanting Manziel to put weight on:

“No, I don’t think we ever want to do anything artificially like that. I think we will get him here and on our nutritional program we have everyone else on and get him in the weight room with coach (Paul) Ricci and just let things happen naturally.”


On what tryout FB Eric Kettani could bring to the team:

“He’s done some good things. We are going to sit down tonight as a staff and evaluate it, look at if we are going to potentially bring in an extra fullback or something or swap a guy out. I know his name his high on list of guy’s that we have thought highly of in these first two practices.”


On how Manziel responded after being told that he is the back up:

“I think that came across like it was kind of a talking down to or negative thing. If you just look at Johnny’s comments from the beginning, I just really reinforced that with him. That is where he is. It is the cart before the horse-type scenario. He knows it, if he wants to develop and be ‘Jonny Football’ in the NFL, he’s got to earn in. I think he knows that that is as the end of the tunnel for him, but he still has to travel through that tunnel.”


The Browns organization did a great job in the draft of maneuvering back up in the first round of the NFL Draft to select Johnny Manziel, but how they’ve handled some things since then off the field, lets just say, they need to learn from their mistakes already.

Manziel-Gilbert-Farmer-Pettine Jersey Photo

So is that Johnny Football on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated?

Johnny Manziel Browns SI Cover Photo


With “Manziel Mania” running rampant in Cleveland like “‘Johnny Football” across SEC fields over the last two years I started thinking about Manziel’s career in college and it led me to think about another heralded SEC quarterback named Tim Tebow.

Manziel vs Tebow Photo

Like Manziel, Tebow ran and threw the ball and brought excitement to the college football world both on and off the field.  Like Manziel, people questioned whether Tebow’s style of play could make it in the NFL. Was he a good enough passer? Could he play under center and read defenses? Could he understand to be successful in the league he would have to run less and throw more? Then I started wondering why will “Manziel Mania” be any different than “Tebow Mania”? What gives “TMZ Johnny” a better chance to make it over “Genuflecting Tim”? Will he last longer in the NFL than the three years that Tebow played? If so, why? Are these comparisons fair?

So I decided to go back and look at the first two years that both Tebow and Manziel started at quarterback at their respective colleges in the SEC. There are a lot of similar results that link these two together, and I think fairly raises the question, why will Manziel, drafted 22nd in the first round by the Browns in 2014  make it in the NFL, when Tebow, who was drafted 25th in the first round by the Broncos in 2010,  only lasted 3 years?


(Remember these are stats and facts from the first two years as a starting quarterback only)

TIM TEBOW                                                                          JOHNNY MANZIEL

6’3 – 236 pounds                                                                         5’11 – 205 pounds

Played in the SEC at Florida                                                   Played in the Sec at Texas A&M

Gesture – “Tebowing”                                                               Gesture – “Getting Paid”

1st sophomore to win the Heisman                                        1st freshman to win the Heisman

Won 1 National Title                                                                    Did not win a National Title

Won 1 SEC Title                                                                            Did not win an SEC Title

2-Time first team All-American                                                1-Time first team All-American

2-Time first team All-SEC                                                         2-Time first team All-SEC

1st year as a starter 32TD passes                                          1st year as a starter 26TD passes

1st year as a starter 23 rush TD’s                                         1st year as a starter 21 rush TD’s

Total TD’s in first year (53)                                                       Total TD’s in first year (47)

1st year as a starter 3,286yrds passing                       1st year as a starter 3,706yrds passing

1st year as a starter 895yrds  rushing                        1st year as a starter 1,410yrds rushing

1st year total yards 4,181 yards                                            1st year total yards 5,116 yards

First 2 years as a starter 62 TD passes                        First 2 years as a starter 63 TD passes

First 2 years as a starter 35 rushing TD’s              First 2 years as a starter 30 rushing TD’s

Total TD’s in first 2 years (97)                                              Total TD’s in first two years (93)

Total INT’s thrown first 2 years (10)                         Total INT’s thrown in first 2 years (22)

66% completion percentage first 2 years                  69% completion percentage first 2 years

Total passing yards first 2 years (6,033)             Total passing yards in first 2 years (7,820)

Total rush yards first 2 years (1,568)              Total rush yards in first 2 years (2,169 yards)

Total yards in first 2 years (7,601)                                Total yards in first 2 years (9,989)


Both played with heart, desire and passion at the college level. Both were great leaders on the field. But after looking at the numbers and information provided above, is there anything that really stands out as to why Johnny Manziel has a chance to be a better quarterback in the NFL than Tim Tim Tebow? I’m not saying Manziel will. I’m not saying he won’t. I’m just presenting you with comparable information and stats for the two players and would love to hear your reasons why you believe one way or another. Let me know here at www.KennyRoda.com or on Twitter @TheKennyRoda.