Funny how the football gods work things out. The Cleveland Browns’ Johnny Manziel, former Heisman Trophy winner, will face the Tennesee Titans’ Marcus Mariota former Heisman Trophy winner when the Browns host the Titans Sunday at 1 PM.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mariota will be the first Heisman-winning quarterback to face quarterbacks who have also won the award in consecutive weeks at any point in a single season. He won his debut against Jameis Winston last week.
Browns starter Josh McCown has not been cleared to play from the NFL’s concussion protocol policy. McCown left the season opener against the New York Jets after taking a hit to the head late in the first quarter. Manziel took over in that game and had mixed results tossing a touchdown, but turing the ball over three times in a 31-10 loss.
Earlier this week, the former Steelers running back and current ESPN analyst said that the Browns should “cut” Johnny Manziel “immediately” Ouch !
Manziel responded with a crack of his own. “I think Merril Hoge needs to worry about his big neckties,” Manziel said. “Talking about Merril, he’s been that way since I decided to come out for the draft,” Manziel said. “That’s really part of it. But no, no extra motivation or bump for me. It’s just go out and play and quiet him with the way we go out and win on Sundays. That’s what we want to do.”
Mariota was the polar opposite in his NFL debut. He completed 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards, four touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Also true to form Mariota took his success in stride with a refreshingly humble attitude.
“It’s not just me,” Mariota said earlier this summer. “It’s the entire coaching staff and the guys on the team who helped me come along and helped my growth and transition. To say it’s just on me is a complete lie.”
“The keys are understanding the playbook, understanding defenses and what to expect in order to make good decisions,” Mariota said. “You need to know where the ball is supposed to be on a particular play and where and when to expect to check down to. Coaches have done a great job of explaining things to me.”
Real leadership deflects praise when things go right and accepts repsonsiblty when they do not, that is Mariota in a nutshell.