It seems like just yesterday I listened to an interview where Teddy Bridgewater declared that he was bidding Twitter adieu so that he could focus on the upcoming college football season. Perhaps it was about the same time that I was hearing how Johnny Manziel was a no-show at a football camp where nobody knew if he was out loud partying or his alarm clock didn't go off. It was at that time that I said to myself, given the two, I'd pick Teddy for my team. He just seemed to take things more seriously, and he seemed to have a respect for himself, the game, and others.
I made no secret that I was no fan of Johnny Manziel. I knew he could play his position well, and that TAMU had beaten Alabama last year, but he just seemed to be trouble. With Aaron Hernandez, Javon Belcher, and I forget who that had the DUI in Dallas, well it just seemed to me that Johnny was too much of a gamble. Not that I would have put him in the same category at Aaron Hernandez when it came to propensity for violence, but he seemed to lack a respect for how his behavior would affect his teammates, and I thought he seemed to be beyond selfish. I wouldn't want a player like that on my team.
Yet, if you think about it, what do I know about who should be drafted for an NFL team? I mean I would have paid attention to the signs of propensity for violence that the NFL Combine suggested when it came to Aaron Hernandez. It's not like I would have allowed him to be on my team. Surely the people who make the choices know a lot more than I do when it comes to who to draft. I'm a student of human behavior, and criminal justice, and I know nothing about football, short of being a fan of the game.
This morning, one of the hosts on a morning radio show I listen to, talked about what's important when it comes to deciding who to draft. He suggested that one of the main things that a team considers is selling jerseys but is that really what matters most? If so, I find that sad, yet understandable. It seems everything in the National Football League comes down to the almighty dollar these days or at least that's the perception. If that's what matters most, I wouldn't draft a young talented player who would likely handle the transition to the NFL due to his exemplary playing ability and his commitment to success. I would forgo that and opt for antics.
Has the National Football League turned into a show, where we don't care about winning. I say 'we' because remember, "Together we make football." I'd like to think that fans truly want a winning team. All you need to do is read the tweets from the Dallas Cowboys fans to see the rebellion in Dallas, and how unhappy and frustrated the Cowboys fans are with mediocrity. There are plenty of Romo jerseys around, but the Cowboys fans want to win. I think the same is true for the fans in Houston. I think they want a winning team. I also think they deserve one. I think that given the choice they would let go of a man who is hell bent on getting attention for being in the limelight, and choose a stellar quarterback who was subdued but exuded that qualities of a leader. Yet, has Johnny Manziel outgrown the antics, and does he deserve to be taken more seriously. Some folks say, "Yes."
Teddy Bridgewater seems to be being touted as the number one choice, though. Not Johnny. What makes Teddy Bridgewater stand out? Is it his 31 touchdowns and only four interceptions? or perhaps his low key demeanor, and his ability to play inside the pocket? He had that down, right? Well what makes so many so sure that Johnny Manziel won't be able to make the transition and wouldn't Johnny sell a lot more jerseys. What if Johnny has matured a bit since his alarm clock didn't go off. After all he did show up for this year's Heisman award, and it didn't seem that there was an uproar in New York City. He didn't seem to glom the cameras. He also celebrated his 21st birthday in Vegas, and we didn't hear much about that either. Then again, what happens in Vegas ....
Well, it will be interesting to see who the Houston Texans take as their first found draft pick. When does the NFL Combine happen, anyway? Wouldn't you wait until after to make your choice? I would. I say this because after going to Score, in Las Vegas I had an opportunity to learn more about what's involved with the NFL Combine. I think that a team should asses a player's abilities both on and off the field, and wait until after the NFL Combine to make their choice. I would not pass on Johnny just because of his antics, and I surely wouldn't draft him just because he could sell a ton of tee shirts.
I think Johnny Manziel might surprise everyone. I think he might have more heart than people realize and that he might be able to shine. I don't know who I would choose if I were the the one making the choice in Houston, but one thing's for sure, they are likely to have a better year than they did this year, and I think who ever they choose, will help them to rebuild their team.