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Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath defends Johnny Manziel

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath defends Johnny Manziel Johnny Manziel's lifestyle has led to a lot of criticism of the Browns rookie quarterback. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI)

If you needed to find the modern day equivalent of iconic quarterback Joe Namath, you'd likely rest your eyes upon Cleveland Browns signal caller Johnny Manziel.

No, the former Texas A&M product isn't as flashy as Broadway Joe, but the two certainly have shown an appreciation for the work hard, play hard mentality. So it shouldn't come as a huge shock that Namath has stepped into the forefront to defend the rookie quarterback from his critics.

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Speaking to NFL Access, Namath, who's off-field activities were as famous as his on-field, praised Manziel for his hard work and dedication to the game.

"What difference does it make, really?" Namath responded when quizzed if Manziel's criticism is deserved. "And it is an example of the different eras and time. I do know this about Johnny Manziel: I haven't seen anyone perform any better than Johnny the last two seasons on that football field."

"And I do know that we love entertainment. Football is a sport, but it is show biz. It is entertainment. And Johnny -- he's gotta live his life, man. ... . I've been to Vegas, you guys have probably been to Vegas. Give the man a little bit of room. But, in his position, he's not entitled to be a regular guy, 22 years old, 21 years old. Everything's blowing out of whack."

"I'd love him on my team, let me just say that."

Along with defending Manziel, Namath also went on to suggest that the rookie avoid the constant coverage that surrounds him and to 'live his life'.

Certainly worked for Joe.

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