Johnny Manziel is the definition of NFL bust. Taken in the first round by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel started just eight games in two seasons and was out of the league. Conversely, Tom Brady has almost as many Super Bowl rings (six) as Manziel does NFL starts, and will have his bust in Canton as soon as he is eligible.
With that juxtaposition, many fans found it strikingly odd on Sunday that Manziel took to Twitter and offered the GOAT some quarterback advice. On closer inspection, it was sound advice and something Brady not only did in the game but will likely do much more often the rest of the season.
Johnny Manziel connects with Mike Evans at Texas A&M
In 2012, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel burst onto the college football scene. That season the freshman threw for more than 3,700 yards and had 26 touchdowns. Fellow freshman wide receiver Mike Evans was on the receiving end of 82 passes and accounted for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns.
The following season, both sophomores improved on their first-year performances and became one of the top quarterback-receiver tandems in the nation. Manziel and Evans had a breakout performance early in the season against the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
In that contest, Manziel connected with Evans seven times for a school-record 279 yards and one touchdown. It was a precursor of things to come as the pair finished the season, connecting on 69 passes for 1,394 yards and an SEC-leading 12 touchdowns. Evans earned consensus All-American honors.
Mike Evans becomes regular NFL Pro Bowler
Since Mike Evans made his NFL debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014, he’s consistently proven to be one of the best receivers in the league. In both his rookie season and 2016, Evans hauled in 12 touchdowns. He earned his first Pro Bowl nomination following the 2016 season.
In each of his six seasons, Evans has impressively topped the 1,000-yard mark. The 2018 season was far and away Evans’ best when he hauled in 86 receptions for 1,524 yards and eight touchdowns. He earned his second Pro Bowl nod.
Last season, Evans put up more Pro Bowl-worthy numbers for the year catching 67 passes for 1,153 yards while adding eight touchdown scores. He earned his third Pro Bowl appearance.
Johnny Manziel gives Tom Brady advice
This offseason, Mike Evans got an unexpected boost to his career with the arrival of future Hall of Famer and six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady. With Brady replacing Jameis Winston, there was anticipation that Evans could post big numbers in 2020.
In two games, Brady and Evans have connected eight times for a pair of touchdowns. In Week 3 against the Denver Broncos, Brady managed to find Evans just two more times, both during the first half. Both were touchdowns. After the second Evans score, Johnny Manziel took to Twitter.
“Just throw it up to Mike Evans works every single time,” Manziel said. Brady didn’t respond to the tweet but later confirmed what the former NFL quarterback suggested during his postgame press conference.
“He’s a great red-area threat, and I think his size, his quickness, his elusiveness, his hands – everything. Mike is one of the great receivers in the NFL so I’ve got to find ways to get him the ball and get him into space, not just in the red area but all over the field.”
Johnny Manziel will never be compared to Tom Brady. The only thing the two quarterbacks have in common is Mike Evans. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a has-been or the GOAT, Evans is going to make you look good.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.