Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Looking forward to the season opener

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We're so happy the Cleveland Browns have Johnny! Johnny!! Johnny!!! Manziel. On Monday night vs. the Washington Redskins, Manziel was the player we'd thought he was: scrawny, manic, skittish and inaccurate.  Better yet, he flashed the finger on national television. Classy.

Manziel looked unready for NFL competition. He appeared as if, instead of working out and readying himself mentally during the months following the NFL draft ... well, he looked as if maybe he'd been partying hard right up to the beginning of training camp. But that couldn't be right, could it?

Johnny Manziel's swan dive
Monday night, Manziel flashed the finger immaturity evident in earlier displays this summer, from the "money phone," to the champagne swan, to the highly publicized trip to Vegas and the rolled-up $20 bill in a bathroom, to his partying-with-the-Bieb escapades and antics on TMZ, Twitter and Instagram. So far as we're concerned, it's all good. We're Steelers fans.

After Monday night's display, when Manziel was consistently off-target and throwing behind receivers on mostly short routes, it seems doubtful Manziel will play much, if at all, in the season opener in Pittsburgh. Against the Redskins, Manziel went 7-16 passing for just 65 yards. The middle-finger flash was icing on the excrement. His performance reflected poorly on the Browns, and himself.

“It did not sit well,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said of Manziel’s gesture. “I was informed of it after the game and it’s disappointing. Because what we talk about is being poised and being focused — that you have to be able to maintain your poise.”

Steeler Nation cannot help but watch with fascination what is happening in Cleveland. The Browns have had an off-season marked by turmoil, chaos, turbulence and discord, not to mention false steps, mis-steps, blatant incompetence, tomfoolery, chicanery, skulduggery and hijinks of the most eyebrow-raising, head-shaking sort, from the firing of head coach Rob Chudzinski, CEO Jim Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi, to the clownish buffonery and legal troubles of owner Jimmy Haslam, to the flirtation with Jim Harbaugh, to the delayed hiring of a rookie head coach (Mike Pettine) and then a first-time general manager (Ray Farmer); the off-season antics of players like Josh Gordon (DUI, etc.), Davone Bess, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.  

The big story, of course, has been all the drama wrapped around Johnny Sporkball. Rookie coach Mike Pettine has not handled the quarterback situation well, and it doesn't look like it's going to get better anytime soon in Cleveland.

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