While lob shots are continuing to be thrown Cam Newton’s way following his Super Bowl press conference Sunday night, another NFL quarterback is facing a much more serious situation.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock in recent weeks, you know full well that Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is the subject of an investigation surrounding a domestic violence situation that took place late last month in Texas.
These are some serious allegations being thrown Manziel’s way. They also come off a drama-filled 2015 season that saw Manziel make news for all the wrong reasons.
In discussing Manziel, Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith had some pieces of advice for the troubled young quarterback:
“Leadership is not given to you. You have to absolutely earn it,” Smith said, via ESPN. “People have to see you’re willing to work out with them and interact with them. You can’t be Colin Kaepernick walking around with your headphones on all of the time and not talking to nobody.”
That’s a pretty interesting leap right there from Smith.
He’s pointing to a quarterback in Kaepernick who has not had any legitimate off-field issues as a barometer for how a quarterback shouldn’t act.
Sure Kaepernick is a divisive figure around the NFL. He’s not your “prototypical” personality from the quarterback position — a personality that has been ingrained into the minds of football purists for decades now.
More than this, there is not a single indication from 49ers players that Kaepernick doesn’t interact and work with them off the field.
Wearing headphones behind his head during post-game press conferences isn’t necessarily an indication that Kaepernick is unapproachable off the field.
Manziel should be the cautionary story for other young quarterbacks, not Kaepernick. And in reality, attempting to create a comparison between the two should be seen as ignorant.
“Whether it’s through your study or, more important, through your performance on the football field, there’s a lot of things that go into making a leader other than just being named the starting quarterback for an organization. You need the respect for the peers.”
These comments were made immediately after the former Dallas Cowboys running back brought Kaepernick into the conversation.
He has a point regarding Kaepernick’s performance. The embattled signal caller was absolutely atrocious this past season.
However, very little of that had to do with his lack of preparation. The former Super Bowl quarterback spent months last spring working with Kurt Warner in Arizona.
The previous offseason saw him work out with a few other NFL players in the desert as well.
So there you have it. Smith is indicating that Manziel should stray away from acting like Kaepernick — something that the running back believes would do the former Heisman winner some good.
Take that for what it’s worth.