Are the Cleveland Browns smoke-screening their draft plans four months in advance? Or will they put the club's future in the hands of a new coach, only to put that coach's future in the hands of Johnny Manziel?
For the second time in a month, a report has surfaced indicating the club has a strong interest in drafting the dynamic Texas A&M star who is turning pro with two years of college eligibility remaining, and that its coaching hire may be made with that in mind. This time, it's cbssports.com reporting the interest. A couple weeks ago, Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote something along the same lines.
On Sunday, NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport shot down another aspect of the cbssports.com report, however: That Auburn coach Gus Malzahn remains a candidate for the coaching job. With his read-option based offense, of course, Malzahn would have figured to be an intriguing fit for Manziel.
But any coach who ends up overseeing Manziel's development will have to change some things.
If it's a coach rooted in the traditional pro-style offense, he'll have to install some offensive elements that cater to Manziel's skill set, be it more shotgun, more rollouts, or even some occasional zone-read option. If it's a coach more open to the zone-read scheme, care will have to be taken not to expose Manziel to too much physical punishment.
Either way, it looks as though the Browns might be zeroing in on Johnny Football.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.