The hits just keep on coming for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
They aren't so much on the gridiron as they are in the media, and perhaps Johnny Football has a "sticks and stones" mentality when it comes to negative public criticism.
But the latest from former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer is part of a trend in which some of the football personalities of eras past have entertained the thought of—albeit hypothetically—physically confronting the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
When asked by Colin Cowherd about Manziel's taunting and actions in the Aggies' 52-31 Week 1 win over Rice, Switzer explained to the ESPN Radio host how he would have handled the polarizing, redshirt sophomore signal-caller (per Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports):
I’m certainly disappointed in his actions...For him to act so arrogant, I wanted to jerk his face mask and I wanted to grab him...Of course you get fired for that now; in the old days you could get away with that. It’s the world we live in. It’s a misplaced value system. When I see this happen I wonder where the core value system comes from, if he has a core value system. This young man needs a damn hell of a lot of development.
That sort of in-your-face, old-school approach isn't exactly the definition of positive reinforcement, and it probably won't fly with most 20-year-olds.
Switzer's statements jibe with those of Lou Holtz. Speaking to Manziel's antics against Rice on Saturday, the ESPN analyst and College Football Hall of Fame coach said he would have "grabbed [Manziel] by the throat."
And as Tom Fornelli also pointed out, former Detroit Lions president and CEO Matt Millen revealed recently that he'd "put his 'size 13 boot' up Manziel's backside."
Just like Manziel's personality, these statements aren't subtle.
All Manziel did was get a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in a game that was already decided after he threw his third touchdown in just over a quarter of action. Johnny Football was simply playing football, and playing with emotion.
Trash-talking is a part of sports, especially football. But Nick Elder, the linebacker he was allegedly taunting Saturday, said that wasn't even the case:
Manziel was to blame again for allegedly ignoring his coach, Kevin Sumlin, on the way back to the sideline during one highly scrutinized sequence.
Sumlin stated that his quarterback wasn't in the wrong, explaining to reporters Tuesday (via ESPN.com's Sam Khan Jr.):
When he came off the field, basically I made two statements to him, neither one of which should he have responded to. They weren't questions. They were direct statements that I can't repeat right now. So what's amazing to me is the perception that he ignored me. The worst thing that could have happened was for him to reply, based on what I told him.
Manziel's actions will continue to fall under the microscope in light of his whirlwind of an offseason. In terms of performance, though, he's looking just fine.
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