(center) and Johnny Manziel faced similar concerns about their small stature upon entering the draft. (Damian Strohmeyer/SI)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees knows what it's like to be scrutinized as a player in the NFL. He was labeled as undersized coming out of college, and some questioned his arm strength.
It sounds similar to the criticism that surrounds Cleveland Browns draft pick Johnny Manziel, except for one glaring difference: the excessive amount of off-the-field publicity Manziel has gotten since he became the most polarizing figure in college football two years ago.
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During a recent appearance on "The Boomer and Carton Show", Brees let it be known that he thinks what Manziel has to deal with some difficult living conditions away from the field as he prepares for his NFL career.
"The unfortunate thing is the guy can't go anywhere and do anything, especially socially, or on his own time, without it being scrutinized," Brees said. "Which is unfortunate. But at the end of the day he's been drafted to go to Cleveland and to win football games, right? There are a lot of expectations. I think just like any young player there are going to be good times and there are going to be struggles. And I think at the end of the day it's about handling that adversity when it does come and being able to surround yourself with good people that can help pull you through that kind of stuff, too."
Manziel hasn't played a down yet, but the continued analysis of his off-field pursuits is representative of the type of summer we're headed for in the NFL.