Manziel, like Tebow, is penalized for his immense popularity

Mike Bianchi SPORTS COMMENTARY7:37 p.m. EDT, May 9, 2014

 Running off at the typewriter

Why in the name of Tim Tebow did Johnny Manziel fall to No. 22 in the NFL draft? Well, for the same reason Tebow himself has fallen out of the NFL altogether: Because controlling NFL coaches are intimidated by Manziel’s immense popularity and rock-star status. You see, NFL teams want cookie-cutter quarterbacks on their roster; not cultural icons.

I remain convinced that Tebow is out of the league not because he’s too unconventional but because he’s too popular. He’s good enough to at least be a backup in the NFL, but teams simply don’t want a backup quarterback who has been named the most influential athlete in America by Forbes magazine and has fans who have petitioned President Barack Obama to get him a job in the NFL.

Same with Manziel: Any team drafting him was going to have to endure the immense fan fervor that comes with it. Personally, I believe fan fervor is a good thing, but NFL coaches and executives are all about eliminating “distractions” from their pre-determined “process” of building a roster.

Unfortunately, in eliminating distractions, NFL league-think also eliminates entertainment value and building teams around exciting, winning quarterbacks who might not have the traditional size or skills set.

Passing on Johnny Football wasn’t a smart personnel move; it was simply a lazy one made by a bunch of clones who aren’t innovative enough to build an offense around his unique strengths and abilities.

SHORT STUFF: I love that Blake Bortles was drafted by the Jaguars, and hopefully he can elevate the franchise to championship caliber, but — gulp — there is also this fear: Will the miserable Jaguars drag Bortles down to their level? We can only hope the Jags don’t transform Blake into Blaine (Gabbert). … I will say, though, I like the fact that the Jags plan on letting Bortles begin this season as a backup to journeyman Chad Henne. Why? Because after Henne struggles for a few games next season, Bortles will seem like the second coming of John Elway coming off the bench. It’s never good to follow a legend, but it’s always good to follow a stiff. …

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5 Responses to “Manziel, like Tebow, is penalized for his immense popularity”

  1. Sage says:

    This is the best description of the phenomenon that I’ve seen — lazy, unimaginative coaches who want to conform. For decades TV broadcasters have treated HCs like 5 star generals or Napoleon himself. But that’s absurd. Even BB is falling prey to habit and hubris, much like the once bright mike Shanahan. I don’t expect BB to win another SB.

  2. Hoot says:

    Coaches want to make the decision to play someone, not the fans i.e. Broncos and Jets. That’s also probably why Ryan didn’t start Timmy over the other two.

    GM’s who were scouts (ie Jag’s GM) are kind of set in their opinions? They don’t like being told they were wrong.

  3. andrea says:

    Happy Mother’s Day everyone !!!

    That includes you too, Buzzy !!!

  4. ck says:

    Thanks and hope you had one as well…went to see The “SECOND TO NONE…NAVY’S BLUE ANGELS” and were they ever beyond exceptional!!!

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