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Mike Singletary: I won’t baby Johnny Manziel

Michael David Smith

Johnny Manziel could make his debut tonight for the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football, and Memphis head coach Mike Singletary wants Manziel to know it’s his responsibility to have himself ready.

Singletary said he’s been clear with Manziel that he’s going to succeed or fail on his own merits in what might be his last chance as a professional football player.

I don’t want to baby him,” Singletary told the Chicago Tribune. “This is an opportunity for him to take advantage of, and if for any reason he’s not at the place to stand and really want this and is really willing to work for it, then it’s not going to work anyway. I’m hoping this time he’s ready and I really feel he is. I’m excited to see where he goes.”

Manziel said he appreciated Singletary being straight with him about his expectations, from his first day of practice with the Express.

“This is a guy who has known me for one day,” Manziel said, “and he genuinely cares about my success and about me as a person, not just football.”

Brandon Silvers is the starting quarterback for Memphis, which at 1-5 is the worst team in the AAF, but it seems unlikely that Manziel will stay behind Silvers on the depth chart for long. Don’t be surprised if Manziel plays tonight — and don’t be surprised if it’s his last chance, if he fails to meet the expectations Singletary has laid out for him.