Johnny Manziel is not looking to make many friends at the NFL level. He made that clear on Monday night when he flipped off the Washington Redskins sideline after one or two players apparently told Johnny Football that he’s not in college anymore. Because of the way Manziel carries himself, Boomer Esiason believes he is in for quite the beating from opponents this season.
During his radio show on WFAN Tuesday morning, Esiason said Manziel is nowhere close to being ready to start at the NFL level. He also said teams already despise the Heisman Trophy winner.
“I’m telling you right now, he is not even remotely close to being ready,” Boomer said. “If he opened as the starting quarterback in Pittsburgh in Week 1, he would get his ass kicked. And his ass would be driven into the ground. Because I’m telling you, other teams hate this guy. Hate him.”
It’s possible that the Browns agree. Mike Pettine has yet to commit to a starting quarterback for Week 1, and there have already been reports that Cleveland is nervous about the potential of Manziel facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh for his first NFL start.
“I saw it from the Detroit Lions. I saw it last night from the Washington Redskins,” Esiason continued. “And I’m telling you, those linebackers for the Pittsburgh Steelers are just praying to God that he plays in Week 1. And if I were Mike Pettine, I would have to have my head examined to put that kid on the field. He is not even close to being ready.
“Whether or not you can handle it is going to be determined by your maturity level. And right now, this kid is a baby.”
Pettine would not say whether Manziel’s inappropriate gesture would factor into the decision to pick a starting quarterback, but it might. It should also be noted that Manziel completed just 6-of-17 passes against the Redskins, so it’s not as if he is playing particularly well.
No one at the NFL level fears Johnny Football, that’s for sure. Most of the Redskins players thought it was hilarious that Manziel flipped them off because it meant they were getting under his skin. Manziel has always used the “haters” at motivation, but that will mean nothing if he can’t outrun NFL defenders and doesn’t put in the work he needs to learn the playbook.