Browns head coach Mike Pettine defended first-round picks Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel earlier this week.
But one of their teammates said both “wasted” their rookie seasons, and better turn it around fast.
“When you’re a first-round pick, you’ve got to c’mon, man” veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They’ve got to reset their goals and they’ve got to do it fast.”
Dansby said Gilbert simply didn’t work hard enough, and noted Manziel saying he squandered chances as well.
“There’s so much [Gilbert] could’ve done better and he didn’t put forth the effort,” said Dansby. “So yeah, it’s a wasted year.
“Like Johnny said the same thing, it’s a wasted year for him. That’s how he feels. He’s like ‘Damn, I’ve got to take this more seriously. I’ve wasted all this time.’ That’s basically what he’s saying. So it’s like ‘Don’t waste your time man, because it’s precious bro. You never know when you’re going to be done. You’re one play away from never playing this game again.”’
To Dansby, the problem is generational.
“But that’s the thing with a lot of rookies these days,” he said. “Their only goal is to get into the NFL. They want the glam and the flash but they’re not willing to put in the grind and the work and the time in order to be great. They want it to just fall in their lap and it doesn’t happen like that.”
Of course, both players have shown flashes of potential — at varying times and degrees. But their struggles are magnified because of their draft status, and the Browns can’t afford for them to not produce much longer.