It’s a new season (almost), and Johnny Manziel is being talked about as if he’s a new man and player, which means the Cleveland Browns are willing to consider giving him the starting quarterback spot if he steps up in training camp.
Head coach Mike Pettine seems so impressed with the former Heisman winner that he’s going to give him some first team reps this weekend and it comes not just from his ability on the field, but also from his attitude being complete different from the one the Browns saw last season, according to both players and the head coach himself.
Johnny’s a totally different guy than he was last year. He’s 100 percent strictly football right now. He’s working his best to be a pocket, prototype quarterback back there. He’s been doing a pretty good job. Again, I just can’t wait to see what he does in the scrimmage on Friday up in Columbus, and then going into the preseason games, to see what he can do up there.
Manziel had two starts last season which were terrible for both him and the Browns. He went through rehab in the offseason, and it seems that the drinking, partying and a lot of other things that derailed him from developing a football career are gone from his life for now.
I can really only speak for when he’s here. There’s no news out of the building, which is obviously a good thing. He’s engaged, he bangs out the answers, he knows it, it’s important to him. We got a little mad at him, because he got upset at practice the other day, was frustrated, threw a ball down. But the positive of that is, ‘Hey, he cares.’ This is a guy who’s competitive and wants to be successful and is upset when things aren’t done right. We feel good about where he is. But given his circumstances — and that was recent — no rush to push him back out there. If it takes a year for him to learn under Josh, then so be it.
Manziel is still second-string at quarterback with Josh McCown given credit for his experience and probably his half season with the Chicago Bears in 2013 to start the season as the #1 QB. But Manziel seems a lot more prepared to handle being called up, whenver that happens. From what’s been going on in training camp, that might be sooner than anyone expected.