Deion Sanders Discusses Johnny Manziel's 'Ghetto Tendencies' and DeSean Jackson

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2014

NFL Hall of Fame Deion Sanders is seen participating at the Tazon Latino NFL Super Bowl event at the Chelsea Waterside Park in NYC on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.  Univision will telecast the event on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 4:55pm EST. (Gregory Payan/AP Images for NFL)
AP Images

Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders is never at a loss for words, and he had plenty to say about Johnny Manziel, DeSean Jackson and the NFL's hottest topics in a recent interview.

Prime Time joined the Roland S. Martin Podcast on Wednesday and raised some interesting points regarding football's most polarizing players.

Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is expected to be taken early in the 2014 NFL draft, but some teams seemingly have concerns regarding his character.

Sanders addressed that issue and described Manziel in a way that many characterized Sanders over the course of his NFL career:

Oh, please. I love Johnny Football. See, the reason people won't accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football. ... Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know.

Despite the potential red flags surrounding Manziel, Sanders was firm in his assertion that the Houston Texans should select him with the No. 1 overall pick.

"Man, they better, because he gonna fill the stadium," Sanders said.

In addition to that, Sanders expressed support for Jackson in the aftermath of his controversial departure from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles surprised many within the football industry when they made the decision to release Jackson on March 28:

Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez of reported that alleged gang ties may have had something to do with Jackson's termination.

Sanders downplayed the accusations of Jackson flashing gang signs during games, and he commended him for staying close with his friends despite his rise to fame.

"When you're on your way up it's very intoxicating," Sanders said. "And you don't want to gravitate to new friends; you want to keep those old friends regardless of where they matriculated from. So I really like DeSean and what he's doing."

Sanders confirmed that Jackson can be tough for coaches to deal with at times, but he chalked it up to him being a typical NFL wide receiver:

First and foremost I know this kid. He was on my team at the Pro Bowl and he's a good kid. Now, does he come with luggage? Yes. He's a wide receiver. (Laughter) Everybody knows wide receivers are divas. I have not played with a wide receiver that was not a diva. And I played with Michael Irvin, and I played Andre Rison, I played with Jerry Rice.

Even with the gang allegations and the diva reputation in tow, it didn't take Jackson long to find a job with the Washington Redskins. 

Sanders feels as though it is a great fit for both Jackson and the Redskins, particularly since Jackson will be motivated to prove the Eagles wrong:

It's a great deal because now he's in the same division. He's upset, he's mad, he's refocused, he's rededicated. ... Because you got to understand with a professional player, when someone cuts you, that's almost the first time in your life that you're going through somebody not wanting you. That means this is the first time that someone is telling you; man, nobody wants you. You know how devastating that is to a young man?

Sanders made some compelling points regarding Jackson's move to Washington.

It's important to remember that Jackson is coming off the best statistical season of his career (82 receptions, 1,332 yards, nine touchdowns—all career highs). He is also joining an offense that boasts a quarterback with a great deal of potential in Robert Griffin III.

With fellow wide receiver Pierre Garcon to draw coverage away from him and running back Alfred Morris to keep defenses honest, Jackson is in an ideal spot.

As long as he can get past all of the off-field distractions, there is reason to believe Jackson will thrive like never before in the nation's capital.


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