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Ray Farmer: Johnny Manziel is being treated like all the other rookies


The Cleveland Browns are trying really, really hard to make it known that they Johnny Manziel is just an ordinary rookie.

On top of limiting media access so Manziel doesn’t get too high a profile, the Browns are also waging a media campaign to make it known that Manziel won’t have the starting job handed to him. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said Manziel is a backup, and Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said in an appearance on ESPN that he wants everyone to realize that Manziel has a lot of work to do.

“The guy has yet to throw a pass, he’s yet to throw a touchdown, he’s yet to do anything that’s dynamic, other than being drafted — which is a tremendous accomplishment in itself,” Farmer said.

Farmer said that Haslam’s statement that Manziel is a backup was all about showing that nothing is going to be handed to Johnny Football.

“It’s more about trying to treat him just like we treat all the other rookies,” Farmer said. “Give everybody an opportunity to earn their spot, demonstrate they’re worthy of playing, and and coach Pettine being the one to handle who’s actually going to get those reps. But nevertheless, we feel good about treating him the same as all the other rookies and give him an opportunity to demonstrate what his worth is on the field.”

Manziel’s worth off the field has already been demonstrated, as he has the best-selling jersey in the NFL right now and has been the impetus for a huge uptick in Browns ticket sales. No matter what the team says about Manziel being a backup, those fans buying tickets expect to see him on the field.

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67 Responses to “Ray Farmer: Johnny Manziel is being treated like all the other rookies”
  1. barsfordays says: May 14, 2014 3:48 PM

    So now they told all their rookies to act as backups?

  2. daysend564 says: May 14, 2014 3:48 PM

    Being called names, general hazing, buying the guys dinners….

    Oh, that only happened to Jonathan Martin

  3. 4thquartermagic says: May 14, 2014 3:50 PM

    I was a fan of college Johnny Manziel.

    So far, not a fan of the NFL Johnny Manziel.

  4. lbcoach34 says: May 14, 2014 3:51 PM


  5. kosarkid says: May 14, 2014 3:51 PM

    Can’t wait to see this kid in the preseason compared to Hoyer.

  6. tlmoon2112 says: May 14, 2014 3:53 PM

    As well he should be.

  7. preludeoflight says: May 14, 2014 3:53 PM

    I don’t disagree with what he’s saying. However, I can’t help but think that I’m the only one who feels like he’s coming across like a big jerk the way he’s saying it.

    Since the article the other day about how it straight up said start acting “like a backup”, it’s sorta left a sour taste in my mouth about the whole thing.

    I wouldn’t be left with warm fuzzies if I was a Browns fan after reading quotes like that.

  8. claymatthewscromagnonforehead says: May 14, 2014 3:53 PM

    Shoulda’ drafted Bobby Boucher.

  9. stainlineho says: May 14, 2014 3:57 PM

    Browns going to ruin Johnny Football before he evens gets going.

  10. usher716 says: May 14, 2014 3:58 PM

    There go the Browns, Browning it up again

  11. mazenblue says: May 14, 2014 3:59 PM

    How else would they treat him(RGII)?

  12. thegreatgabbert says: May 14, 2014 4:00 PM

    After practice Johnny will have to shower quickly, so he can put on his waiter’s uniform to serve in the team cafeteria.

  13. citizenstrange says: May 14, 2014 4:01 PM

    I bet you if Manziel were on the Chiefs Brad Childress would at least pick him up at the airport.

  14. jerruhjones says: May 14, 2014 4:01 PM

    He is like all the other rookies…why wouldn’t they?

  15. weepingjebus says: May 14, 2014 4:02 PM

    Johnny Football Spectator

  16. rcali says: May 14, 2014 4:03 PM

    Johnny Football doesn’t fit on the Browns and the Browns don’t fit with a guy nick named Johnny Football.

  17. wnstonchill says: May 14, 2014 4:03 PM

    When you say “all the rookies”, does that include Michael Sam? So in other words, if Johnny claimed he were gay, he’d probably receive diplomatic immunity from the league, even if he sucks? (meaning, even if he’s no good 🙂 )

  18. daysend564 says: May 14, 2014 4:04 PM

    With Gordon’s looming suspension and Burleson breaking his pizza grabbing arm again, he’ll be happy to sit back and watch Hoyer fail with nobody to throw the ball to.

  19. dannersthemanners says: May 14, 2014 4:06 PM

    Hey we are going to treat you just like everyone else. So for example, we demean and belittle all of our browns team members in the media by saying things like “he has yet to do anything , and he’s just a back up.” We also limit media access for everyone. It’s not just because he’s Johnny manzeil we do that for everyone. We especially talk about them and single them out in media conferences. Don’t worry we do that with everyone . That’s part of the deal.

  20. stealthscorpio says: May 14, 2014 4:12 PM

    Maybe Haslam can give the fans that bought season tickets expecting to see Johnny Football a rebate???

  21. glb15 says: May 14, 2014 4:12 PM

    What a crock of BS. Sooner, rather than later, Johnny Manziel will be the starting QB for the Cleveland Browns. He will blow Hoyer away with his performance.

  22. chrisknowsdbr says: May 14, 2014 4:13 PM

    Why wouldn’t he be

  23. mheffner001 says: May 14, 2014 4:14 PM

    I expect he will see the field but only when he proves he is better than Hoyer . Pettine and Shanahan aren’t going to be easy to fool .

  24. buddysguys says: May 14, 2014 4:16 PM

    good, tie him to a goal post and walk away. Forever.

  25. logicaldawg says: May 14, 2014 4:16 PM

    The Browns are doing the right thing here. This new regime is in control. Looking forward to a long run of stability for our great team. GO BROWNS!

  26. kingpel says: May 14, 2014 4:16 PM

    By the end of training camp the Browns will have successfully killed the buzz surrounding Johnny Manziel.

  27. johnnythek1 says: May 14, 2014 4:22 PM

    You know what Browns fans should want to see on the field? Winners! If Hoyer delivers the wins it should be “Brian! Brian! Brian!”. If he doesn’t then it should be “Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!”.

  28. watchfullhose says: May 14, 2014 4:23 PM

    It’s funny how butt-hurt the media is about not being allowed to go to a ROOKIE ONLY mini-camp in May to see a kid that the browns want to MAKE earn his spot. The browns want some practice time without JFF answering a bunch of stupid questions and they want him to act like he hasn’t won the job yet and to work hard to win it. Seems like they’re handling it just right to me.

  29. tennesseeoilers says: May 14, 2014 4:23 PM

    The Browns know he has all the emotional makings to be the next Vince Young. So they won’t handle Manziel the way Titans’ owner Bud Adams coddled Vince. And because of that, he may be a great NFL quarterback some day.

  30. kneelbeforesod says: May 14, 2014 4:24 PM

    Spoken with fingers firmly crossed behind his back.

  31. hor2012 says: May 14, 2014 4:26 PM

    Please stop it. JM will be the starter. Everyone knows it. And, if I was Hoyer I would tell them to stop it.

  32. bennyb82 says: May 14, 2014 4:29 PM

    Farmer also had to pull him out of the line to change his last name to Football.

  33. bbbmf says: May 14, 2014 4:30 PM

    While I don’t disagree with what they’re trying to say, their wording is horrible. You don’t tell anyone “you’re a backup”, you tell them, “you have to earn your spot.” That said, dude is a baller, he’ll be on the field sooner rather than later.

  34. wannabear says: May 14, 2014 4:32 PM

    Not a Browns fan, but I love me some Johhny.

  35. doggeatdogg says: May 14, 2014 4:36 PM

    I’m not a JM fan but the Browns have botched up this entire thing with him. From the draft day homeless story, to being pass over the first time, to the last minute owner driven switch from TB to JM, and now to ‘you are a back up guy’ and now the PR clean up. I can just imagine JM camp is panicking the Browns are going to ruin his brand.

    It is said the second you drive your spanking brand new car off the lot, it loses it’s value. It would seem the Browns not only drove the car off, but started pelting it with rocks.

    The owner’s move is undeserving and a serious misstep and I wouldn’t be surprised if JM’s people are quietly planning his exit from Cleveland already.

  36. packfanaj12 says: May 14, 2014 4:41 PM

    All other rookies must enjoy being treated as well as Johnny Manziel then huh.

  37. discountdoublecheck says: May 14, 2014 4:42 PM

    This article’s headline is the exact thing that’s wrong with today’s NFL.

    Of COURSE he should be treated like all the other rookies…HE’S A ROOKIE.

  38. bnn52 says: May 14, 2014 4:50 PM

    Huge Browns fan and a huge Johnny Football fan as well. I wanted him drafted by the Browns since day 1. I do have to say though, I understand what Haslam and Farmer are saying and trying to do here, but the way they put it came off wrong.

    From a front office standpoint, they cant just hand Johnny the job, they need to entreanch the idea into his head that he has to earn it. Handing him the job lights no fire underneath him and is setting him up for sub-par performance.

  39. smcswaw1982 says: May 14, 2014 4:57 PM

    Look, the sun comes up in the East and it sets in the West. Death and taxes are also certainties. Better the Browns announce that they are doing all they can to move Brian Hoyer, and go ahead and indicate that JF is thier franchise QB, than to continue this charade. Like 3500 people just bought new season tickets so they can see this schlub Hoyer play in week 1? I am sure that if JF isnt starting in week 1, the fans will be burning Haslam effigies before, DURING, and after the game in the parking lot. Stop it with the disingenious commentary on JF’s status already. Its insulting to the Brown nation, if there is such a thing.

  40. nite2al says: May 14, 2014 5:05 PM

    He should be treated differently as he always has been.

  41. txrawdog says: May 14, 2014 5:13 PM

    Johnny Football isn’t the hero cleveland wants…HE IS THE HERO GOTHAM NEEDS

  42. shadylamp says: May 14, 2014 5:21 PM

    Everyone keeps commenting “can’t wait to see him in pre-season.” I recall Brady Quinn going 10 for 10 and a touch down pass during the lions scrubs. What I can’t wait for is that first crushing hit and to see him hold on to the football, that’s what I can’t wait for.

  43. horizonbts says: May 14, 2014 5:23 PM

    Soon everyone will be on the Connor Shaw band wagon as being a Brown’s fan for 48 years I truly believe Hoyer and Manziel will eventually be the back-ups to this guy. Read up on him and watch the highlight reel……..

  44. 84smooninlambeaunevergetsold says: May 14, 2014 5:35 PM

    Should’ve been a Viking. But he’s not, we got that other guy. Maybe in 4 years, Johnny, just maybe, you can be a Minnesota Viking.

  45. wimpyburgers says: May 14, 2014 5:36 PM

    I feel sympathy for the Browns, who can’t seem to catch a break.

    They need the talent to allay the emotions of the fanbase; what they don’t need is this manufactured PR hype Manziel’s “team” created for themselves

    Just the picture of that shrimp standing next to the giant of an ex lineman should be a cause for concern

  46. kepdogg23 says: May 14, 2014 5:38 PM

    Johnny Football may have me longing for Tim Tebow news.

  47. 8to80texansblog says: May 14, 2014 5:43 PM

    What did Johnny Manziel do to the Browns for them to be straight up disrespecting him in the media, day after day?

    Besides this isn’t the first time Johnny Manziel went into the offseason low on the depth chart. The before his Heisman season he was listed as 3rd on the A&M depth chart.

    He knows how to take starters jobs away.

  48. afcdomination says: May 14, 2014 5:52 PM

    he better worry about Connor Shaw. heck, they are talking about Dalton needing to be concerned about AJ, I think Alex Smith ought to lower that ridiculous asking price rumored, or he is going to have Aaron Murray pushing him out the door

    a lot of really interesting QB situations because this draft had so many guys who have such potential to play, and play rather quickly. team starts to struggle, and those rookies are going to be called upon by every fan base. Hoyer, Cassel, Smith, Dalton and any other QB asking Cutler money or occupying a spot in front of a rookie QB, hope you are renting.

  49. qdog112 says: May 14, 2014 6:31 PM

    I’m trademarking “Johnny Roadkill”, if “Johnny 3rd and 27” is taken.

  50. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 14, 2014 6:33 PM

    Haslam’s statement of act like a backup was wrong. Little wonder the Browns have been so terrible.

    Keep your swagger Manziel. Those guys forgot how to win.

  51. imnotsorryisaidthat says: May 14, 2014 6:38 PM

    Ray you aint fooling anybody

  52. muencht says: May 14, 2014 6:46 PM

    Quote “Johnny Manziel is being treated like all the other rookies”. Everyone knows Mr John Football won’t like that. As for Hoyer being the starter: I predict JF will start by week 6.

  53. humanlawndart says: May 14, 2014 6:46 PM

    Yeah, I’ll bet!

  54. Bull Rush says: May 14, 2014 6:50 PM

    This has a very eery pattern similar to Tebow. The skill sets, question marks, best selling jersey, etc. How long until the billboards go up begging for him to start? They’re in my team’s division but this is not what the Browns need.

  55. butzmark says: May 14, 2014 6:52 PM

    With his improv skills he’s got the chance to be the greatest second half preseason QB of all time. Those skills won’t translate to the NFL unless he works allot harder than his reputation implies.

  56. mackcarrington says: May 14, 2014 7:25 PM

    Farmer said this after sending the limo to pick Manziel up and making sure his dry cleaning was ready.

  57. kd75 says: May 14, 2014 7:46 PM

    Except for the $20 million guaranteed endorsement deal with Nike, Manziel is just like that 7th round pick…

  58. mattjay0101 says: May 14, 2014 8:27 PM

    Bad Pick Cleveland!

    I have NO DOUBT that despite all his colligiate accomplishments the kid just isn’t going to pan out at the pro level.

    Tim Tebow 2.o

  59. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 14, 2014 9:07 PM

    Why is everyone “Tebowing” this kid, same EXACT situation……ruin the kid’s career before it starts. Sad world we live in.

  60. zoxitic says: May 14, 2014 10:48 PM

    Leave it to the Browns to treat Johhny Football like Johnny Come Lately.

  61. desbattle82 says: May 14, 2014 11:32 PM

    Bryan hobert or is it billy joe hoyer? Whatever his name is is one of a zillion flash in the pan qbs to play two good games ! Some fans are upset the browns aren’t treating or moving forward with him as a franchise qb?

  62. stewart09 says: May 15, 2014 4:52 AM

    manziels full skills wont be in full view on the practice field with no one to dodge but just strictly passing hoyer will be better than manziel its just whether he has any mobility after doing his knee last year.

  63. Matt dog from C-town says: May 15, 2014 5:27 AM

    Great approach…..dont make public pressure force you to play a guy…let his play force himself on the field….JohnnY smart and a competitor….the cream will eventually rise to the top when its ready..

  64. hwould says: May 15, 2014 5:40 AM

    Some of these comments let me know the Browns did the right thing in keeping the national guys out of rookie camp.

    Go Browns!

  65. bullcharger says: May 15, 2014 8:30 AM

    I think the Browns are smart for trying make him work for it, but given Hoyer is in front of him, not Peyton Manning, I think Johnny Football will be playing soon.

  66. chris1cat says: May 15, 2014 8:43 AM

    Why did the Browns draft him? Between Haslam and Farmer they sound like a couple of grumpy old men that know they made a bad choice. Weird!

  67. simonator917 says: May 15, 2014 4:37 PM

    I don’t Johnny Football and Kyle Shanahan will be able to co-exist. One of them will be gone inside of two years.

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