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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

Merril Hoge unloads on Johnny Manziel again

Johnny Manziel tape Browns

Merril Hoge has been arguably the biggest critic of Johnny Manziel since the former Texas A&M star was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Hoge said back in March that Manziel was going to be a colossal bust, so you know he must have been pleased to see Johnny Football fall flat on his face against the Cincinnati Bengals.

After the Bengals demolished the Cleveland Browns, Hoge piled on.

“As I’ve said before, it’s going to be a quick exit and it’s unfortunate, because whoever drafted him in Cleveland, they need to be fired,” Hoge said, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Because it’s unfair to the kid. He has sixth-round talent but first-round hype, and you draft him there and now regardless of what happens from here on out, he will be expected to play like a first-rounder and that’s unfair to him.

“He doesn’t have the skill set to withstand that expectation and that’s not his fault, it’s the Cleveland Browns’ for drafting him that high.”

It should be noted that Sunday was Manziel’s first career NFL start. That said, he completed just 10 of 18 passes for 80 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions.

“He’s limited with his arm, he’s limited with his overall understanding of the structure and here’s the thing that’s going to hurt him more than anything: his one strong, major overriding instinct to run,” Hoge said. “It won him a Heisman. It’s what he gets rewarded for. It’s what he does best, it’s what he trusts.

“You’ll never break that. To teach him and for him to learn, have all of those things he couldn’t do today, it’s just an uphill battle. It’s never going to happen.”

Remember all that stuff that Hoge said about Tim Tebow? Well, he was right.

While it’s far too early to label Manziel a bust, he is certainly undersized. The biggest issue for Manziel at the NFL level is speed. He was the best quarterback in the nation at Texas A&M because he extended plays and outran the defense. The NFL game may be too fast for Johnny Football.

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