Johnny Manziel has yet to take a snap in an NFL game for the Cleveland Browns, but the hype surrounding the former Texas A&M superstar for his antics both on and off the field have been the source of plenty of buzz throughout his career.
Joe Montana, who guided the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl championships before finishing his storied career with the Kansas City Chiefs, said on the NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" program that he sees a lot of himself in Manziel--at least in the early stages of Montana's career.
That's right, "Joe Cool" may have some unique perspective about "Johnny Football" and his antics, and Montana offered some advice to Manziel that he received from his former coach, the late Bill Walsh, when his career was taking off.
“I think the biggest thing is, ‘Hey you’ve made it to where you want to be. Everybody wants to have fun up there. But unfortunately, you’re in a fish bowl even more so than he was in college,'" Montana said on "NFL Total Access".
“I always go back to an old saying Bill Walsh told me after we won our first Super Bowl. I was going everywhere, trying to do everything. He called me in and said, ‘I just want to tell you one thing. I understand what you’re doing. We may never get back to another Super Bowl. But just remember this, the less people see you, the more they want to see you.’
“So basically he was saying it’s okay to do some things, but try to cut it back, but don’t forget about football because that’s got where you to where you are and that’s what’s going to keep you there. You got to make sure you spend the time on football as much as getting out and about.”
Manziel certainly has his share of critics, many of whom have expressed publicly that he needs to tone down his off-field interests if he wants to have a prolonged NFL career.
Manziel's father is even concerned about his son's partying, telling ESPN's Wright Thompson last July "It could come unraveled. And when it does, it's gonna be bad. Real bad. It's one night away from the phone ringing, and he's in jail."
Mike Pettine, Cleveland's first-year coach, is on the record as saying he won't micromanage Manziel and has no problem with how he conducts himself off the field as long as it isn't criminal.
One thing is for certain....Manziel's first season in the NFL will be highly scrutinized, and he may not even see the field during the season. The No. 22 pick in the NFL Draft will be fighting it out with the likes of Brian Hoyer and Tyler Thigpen during training camp to see who gets the starting nod.
Listen to Joe, Johnny. He knows of what he speaks.
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