One day after comparing Johnny Manziel to both Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson as a top-impact type of player, former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer unloaded on Johnny Football and his persona as a party-loving jetsetter.
"I don't like his antics. I think he's an arrogant little (vulgarity), I've said that, I'll say it again," Switzer told The Morning After radio show in St. Louis. "He's a privileged little kid. He's embarrassed himself, he's embarrassed his teammates, his program, he's embarrassed his coach. And they'll all have to defend him because they have to coach him. I know how it works. I spent 40 years in the game so I know how it works."
Switzer indicated he wouldn't mince words with Manziel if he were his coach, and believes the environment of an NFL locker room could go a long way in helping to police Manziel's off-field behavior.
"You grab him, you dog-cuss him, and you do it in front of the players," Switzer said. "The players handle that crap a lot of times. You think I didn't coach some guys in pro football who couldn't handle Manziel?"
Recall that Switzer found himself in a very public national spotlight in dealing with former Oklahoma running back Marcus Dupree, who left OU in the middle of his sophomore season in 1983 due in part to a rift with Switzer. Dupree, for his day, was as much of a star as college football had. And like Manziel, that star burned brighest when Dupree was only a freshman.
Handling Dupree off the field, however, predictably became tougher.
"You've got to coach the kid. He's yours, you've got to play with him. They kind of hold you hostage sometimes, especially the great ones," Switzer said. "Let me say this: For whatever his antics are, for whatever crap he's got in his neck, the guy, I give him his due. ... I have never seen a quarterback control a game like he does, put up the numbers he does. The guy is fantastic, what he's done, against good competition."
As much as Switzer holds a distaste for Manziel, he also sees NFL success on the horizon, comparing him this week to basketball greats Jordan and Robertson.
"He lets you think you're going to touch him, then he disappears," Switzer said. "He gets away from you and buys time. When a guy can do that, people are going to get open. They're going to separate. I don't care how good you are (defensively) in pro football, you can't cover more than four or five seconds, then they're going to be free.
"This cat here can go out and win a football game by himself."