Maybe the most important thing about Johnny Manziel’s performance in the scrimmage Friday night wasn’t the numbers. Sure, Manziel threw two touchdowns (3 yards to E.J. Bibbs; 18 yards to Josh Lenz) and completed a pristine 9 of 11 passes as 50,000 eager fans watched at Ohio Stadium. But the most important thing may well be the new attitude — reflected in what could be a new nickname.
”I wouldn’t make a huge deal about it, but it’s progress for me. It’s better than I played last year,” said Manziel after the intrasquad contest. That’s Manziel speaking with the voice of a sober man with a sobered perspective. It’s a Manziel who may be making the critical transition from “Johnny Football” to “No Big Deal Manziel” — where success is expected and the next accomplishment is the most important. But you can’t take the gamer out of the Johnny. Even the most sober expectations of fans and the quarterback himself include yet another transition. After a brief period as the cool, collected, reasonable “No Big Deal Manziel”, the Cleveland Browns attention-grabber would surely like to be known in the end as “Big Deal Manziel.” Very big deal Manziel.