Questions abound about Browns backup QB Manziel’s staying power after middle finger lands him in hot water


Sydney Dyke

On August 18, the Washington Redskins played the Cleveland Browns. During the game, Johnny Manziel delivered a lovely gesture of sportsmanship to the opposing team: a flip of the middle finger. “I had words exchanged with me throughout the entirety of the game. I should have been smarter, it was a Monday Night Football game and the cameras were probably solidly on me.” Manziel said to the Associated Press.

Emmett Schindler, Reporter

Heisman winner Johnny Manziel finally joins the NFL after two spectacular seasons at Texas A&M. “Johnny Football” got drafted 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns, and pundits remain fixated on his preseason play, determining if he can succeed at the highest level.

The first question when the training camps started remained, “Who will start, Manziel or Brian Hoyer?” The buzz swarmed the NFL, with experts and fans alike debating who should start. Mike Pettine, the Browns coach, promised each quarterback equal reps with the first-team offense to judge the teammates.

“I think Johnny Manziel should start because he is so versatile, but Hoyer has experience in the league,” sophomore Dylan Stanhope said.

During the Brown’s second preseason game, after Manziel ran for a first down, he decided to flip off the Washington Redskins bench because they taunted the rookie quarterback. After the game, commissioner Roger Goodell fined Manziel $12,000.

“I don’t think they should have fined Manziel, he’s a rookie so I think he should have gotten a warning before getting fined that much money,” sophomore Aiden Gulley said.

When asked the same question, senior Jake Miller said, “No, he’s free to express his opinion and he didn’t even say anything. Players can curse at each other and not get fined but can’t flip off the sideline?”

Following the game, Pettine chose Hoyer over Manziel for the starting quarterback job. Did Manziel’s incident with the Redskins bench have an effect on the choice of the position? Pettine seemed quite disappointed with Manziel’s behavior, leading to the conclusion that the ill-advised gesture did contribute to the decision.

Knowing the lowly state of the Browns, Manziel will likely start some games in the regular season. While he contains oodles of potential in the NFL, until he matures, he will remain known as a college dynamo, rather than an NFL superstar.