Browns made the right call

Boom or bust?

That’s the question regarding the Cleveland Browns selection of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round of Thursday night’s National Football League draft.

Given Cleveland’s track record of drafting quarterbacks who don’t pan out, it’s more than a fair question. Give the Browns a choice no more complicated than Player A or Player B and they invariably choose the wrong one.

Indeed, that once again is the consensus among the so-called experts.

He’s too small, they say.

He’s going to be running for his life, they predict.

He’s going to get hurt, they proclaim.

Indeed, all three are possible. But there’s something special about this guy.

He’s a winner. One who will battle you from the opening kickoff to the final gun.

He’s a leader. He wills his enthusiasm and his passion for the game on those around him.

He’s a playmaker. If the offensive line doesn’t give him enough time, he can make some with his scrambling ability. Yes, it’s true he’s not quite 6-feet tall but it’s the measure of his heart that separates him from those who wind up holding the clipboard.

Yes, I know. The experts think Cleveland once again are the Clowns and that they blew another opportunity to improve their team.

Indeed, there were safer picks. But when you are the Browns, safe isn’t going to be good enough. So you -like the guy for whom Ohio’s capital city is named -take a chance, knowing you literally could go off the deep end. Hey, it worked for old Chris back in 1492.

Too many sports fans today employ the ear test -listening to the talking heads on the 24-hour sports networks – rather than the eye test -what they can see for themselves.

If you apply the latter, I don’t see how you not only can’t like Manziel as a player, but also as a person.

He gives 100 percent on every single play. He often turns a sure loss into a gain, sometimes a large one. He can run. He can scramble. He can throw.

But perhaps his best attribute is that he can inspire. He can will his teammates to share his passion. To not give up because things aren’t going well (which usually describes all four quarters of a Browns game). To simply refuse to lose.

I’m the lone wolf on this one among our sports staff, whose other members can recite the talking points from the talking heads.

But I like virtually everything I see from this guy. Sure, I wish he was taller. If he was 6-foot-3, he would have been the first pick in the draft. And perhaps he should have been. Houston’s lack of success is well documented -three winning seasons since joining the league in 2002. Yet, the Texans played it safe. Let’s see where that gets them.

I can’t wait for the NFL season to begin and then we all will see the impact Johnny Football has on the league in general and the Browns in particular.

Contact Dave Poe at