Johnny Manziel is about to play in one of the biggest games of his career. On Saturday at 7pm ET, Manziel will see his first action in the NFL on the road against Detroit Lions - and he's not going to be allowed to smoothly transition into the big league.
Manziel was a star performer during his time at Texas A&M, but right now he is currently in a heated battle with Brian Hoyer to become the number one starter for the Cleveland Browns.
Just to add to his challenges, Manziel will have to face a sell-out crowd on the road against the Lions, with fans in Michigan eagerly awaiting the visit of the former Heisman Trophy winner.
A full house will mean extra pressure on Manziel, as he takes his first snaps during the NFL pre-season opener against the Lions.
There is nothing like a character that you love to hate to draw interest in an event, and this weekend, Manziel will be exactly that for Lions fans. Almost every Detroit fan will want to see Ndamukong Suh sack Manziel on Saturday, and who can blame them?
Manziel is the most polarizing quarterback in the NFL. If he performs for Cleveland during his career in the NFL, he will become a Browns legend. And the better he does in the NFL, the more opposition fans will love to hate.
It's his approach to football that gets on the nerves of a lot of traditional NFL fans. He's not a pocket passing QB. He doesn't stand in the pocket and take the pain like traditional passers. Instead, he evades defenders and uses his running game.
Many experts say he won't be able to use his running skills as much in the NFL and therefore his lack of passing quality will come into question.
Others, including Manziel himself, believe he has what it takes to make it in the NFL. One aspect of his play that could well stand him in great stead heading into his pro-football debut is his ability to play under pressure.
Most rookie NFL quarterbacks would be scared of playing in front of a full house on their pro-debut, but Manziel is from the original home of the 12-man in Aggie field. He has been under pressure for the last two seasons at Texas A&M, and in the most pressured circumstances, Manziel has stood up and provided his most accomplished performances.
This could well happen again tomorrow in his NFL debut, but Manziel will not be able to benefit from the impressive blocking of his Texas A&M offensive line anymore. Therefore, it's more likely that Manziel will struggle tomorrow in his first game in Browns colors.
Whatever happens, it will be thoroughly entertaining, and Manziel's performance will go someway to deciding whether or not he will begin the 2014 NFL season as a starting QB.
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