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Drew Brees: Johnny Manziel scrutiny 'unfortunate'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

First rule of NFL football club: you better have an opinion on Cleveland Browns rookie and TMZ heartthrob Johnny Manziel.

Even if, like Saints quarterback Drew Brees, you've never even met him.

"I haven't met him, haven't talked to him," Brees said before laughing on "The Boomer and Carton Show" Monday. "But obviously I get asked a ton of questions about him."

Why? Because they're short obviously! No, seriously, that's why. Brees had a much more interesting parallel for Manziel though: current Lions running back (and former Saints running back) Reggie Bush.

"Maybe the most-hyped player coming out since Reggie Bush," Brees said of Manziel. "That's kind of who I equate it to because I was with Reggie in '06 when we drafted him. And all the hype surrounding that player when he came out of college. Kind of the same for Johnny Manziel. He's just one of these figures that draws a lot of attention whether positive or negative."

Bush is still kind of that way, although he's migrated more to a "football guy" now it feels like than a "Hollywood guy" if that makes sense.

Brees clearly feels bad for Manziel and pointed out it's "unfortunate" that every tiny aspect of Manziel's social life is constantly "being scrutinized."

"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. 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.

But since we're talking shorter quarterbacks ... Brees offered up one more example of a guy who managed to succeed and handle pressure early in his career: Russell Wilson.

"Handling the success as well [is important too]. I use Russell Wilson as an example all the time. Russell Wilson has handled the success and stardom as well as anybody in his first two years in the league," Brees said. "Third-round draft pick, having to earn his starting role. What he's been able to accomplish has been extremely impressive."

No question about it. Wilson's spotted on TV and Twitter about as often as Manziel these days, but the only difference is Russell has a Super Bowl ring on his finger.

If Manziel can achieve the same success in Cleveland as Wilson has in Seattle, it won't matter where he spends his Memorial Day weekends going forward.

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