Browns coach Mike Pettine has hinted that Cleveland could use rookie QB Johnny Manziel in special packages designed to take advantage of his unique talents, but many remain skeptical that a Manziel package will have any impact for the Browns.
Generally speaking, when people downplay the idea of a Manziel package, they cite Tim Tebow as an example of why this is a bad idea. But Troy Polamalu doesn’t agree with this take.
Polamalu explained (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) why he thinks a Manziel package would succeed better than a Tebow package:
“The thing about it, New York tried to do that with Tim Tebow a little bit. But Tebow’s a guy you have to just play and play and grind out the entire game. I don’t think Johnny is that type of guy. I think if Johnny came into the game, he would make some splashes, he doesn’t need to get into a rhythm.”
Polamalu may have a point here, but ultimately I don’t know if the Browns would gain much by using Manziel the same way the Jets tried to use Teobw, even given Manziel’s splashier talents.
The idea that some team is going to “utilize a player’s talent” via a special package always sounds good on paper, and always excites fans who want to believe their coaching staff is smarter than everyone else’s coaching staff, but when has such a plan ever really amounted to anything?
Johnny Manziel could come in and create a little havoc in an isolated situation, but the Browns are either going to win or lose based on the play of Brian Hoyer, who is currently their starter.
If they want Manziel to have a true impact on the game, they’ll make him the starter. And one assumes that will be happening sooner rather than later.