Barry Switzer Told Us What We Already Know About Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel is going to be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. He might even be the No. 1 overall pick if the Houston Texans decide that he’s the quarterback of their future and not my man, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl MVP Blake Bortles. But even if he’s not, he’s still going to at least temporarily be the face of the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders or Minnesota Vikings, and that means he’s going to be a star for several years in the NFL. If all of that fails, he’ll still have his family’s money, and he’ll always be able to show off his Heisman Trophy to the babes at the local bars. Basically, he has every reason in the world to be confident and arrogant.

Former Dallas Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer was a guest on “The Morning After” sports talk radio show in St. Louis this morning, and after a segment about last night’s episode of The Bachelor and an outstanding choice for a lead-in song with “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles, Switzer offered his thoughts on both Manziel’s potential in the NFL and Michael Sam’s eventual effect on a locker room. But it’s the money quote about Manziel that is going to grab all of the attention.

Switzer didn’t remember which city he was even talking to when his interview began, but he was as folksy as ever, discussing what he remembered seeing of Rams QB Sam Bradford when he was in high school and then at Oklahoma. The hosts of the show were tossing around the idea that maybe Bradford isn’t the Rams’ franchise QB, and maybe it’s time to kick the tires on one of the top QBs in this year’s draft if one is worth taking at No. 2 or especially if one should slip to No. 13. Manziel was the specific QB mentioned, and Switzer offered his candid take on the polarizing QB. It was a little more complicated than just, “Bing bang boom, the kid’s a dick.”

“I’ll tell ya, Johnny Manziel, I don’t like his antics, I think he’s an arrogant little prick. I said that and I’ll say it again, he’s a privileged kid. He’s embarrassed himself. He’s embarrassed his teammates and program. He’s embarrassed his coach. They’ll all have to defend him because they have to coach him. I know how that works, I spent 40 years in the damn game, so I know how it works. I heard what someone said in that first national television game, when he came off the field, if the score was behind, he wouldn’t be going back in the game, you’d think he learned his lesson by now. I think millions of people heard him say that and they were frustrated with him when he said that comment, but on Tuesday he had to change his tune because he was getting ready for the next game. I know what it’s all about, and if you’re a coach he’s yours and you’ve got to play with him. It kind of holds you hostage sometimes, especially the great ones.

“Let me say this – for whatever his antics are, and whatever crap he’s got in his neck, I give him his due and I’ll give the guy credit, he’s the best that I’ve seen. I have never seen a quarterback in college football take control of a game like he does and put up numbers like he does. Game after game after game, he puts numbers up that are staggering.”

A strangely confusing block quote if there ever was one, but it’s probably the most backhanded of all the backhanded compliments I’ve seen.

He went on to praise him as potentially better than Russell Wilson, and basically saying that he’s got the balls and the brains to be better than anyone he plays against. So yes, Barry Switzer called Johnny Manziel an arrogant little prick, but he also compared his football abilities to the basketball abilities of Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson. And when asked if the Rams should pick Manziel, Switzer emphatically stated, “You take him.” I just wish he said, “You take that little prick,” because that would be a sound bite for the ages.