Skip to content

Johnny Manziel: I’m a rookie, I need to earn my place

manziel AP

The Browns’ emphasis on Johnny Manziel entering training camp as a backup has not gone unnoticed by Manziel himself.

Manziel said at the Browns’ rookie minicamp today that he realizes nothing is going to be handed to him, and he needs to prove he belongs before he’ll be Cleveland’s starting quarterback.

“I’m a rookie,” Manziel said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I need to earn my place. I need to earn my keep. I don’t need to be treated based off what I did in the past because that doesn’t mean a thing at this level. I was completely OK with hearing that from everybody. I don’t want to come in and have anything handed to me that I don’t deserve.”

Manziel said he’s eager to show the teams that passed on him what they’re missing.

“I got passed up 21 times, so that says something,” Manziel said. “Getting passed up 21 times is never fun and obviously some of those teams weren’t going to take quarterbacks and we knew that going into it, but still, it’s even humbling to be the second quarterback off the board, so for them to come in and say that, I don’t think I need to be humbled. I realize where I’m at in this organization and what I need to be doing, and that’s all I’m really focused on.”

Manziel added of Cleveland fans, “They’re tired of losing. They’re tired of not having success.” Manziel may be a backup now, but his job will be to change Cleveland’s fortunes, as the starter.

Permalink 82 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cleveland Browns, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
82 Responses to “Johnny Manziel: I’m a rookie, I need to earn my place”
  1. clevelandschronic2 says: May 17, 2014 3:17 PM

    no need to make him the starter for week 1, let hoyer start and see what he can do(he was great in 3 gms last yr). dont throw johnny into the fire yet, let him learn the offense so he isnt out there running around confused like weDone.

  2. jerruhjones says: May 17, 2014 3:18 PM

    Keep up the good attitude Johnny.

    Go Browns!!!

  3. vaughnjoe says: May 17, 2014 3:21 PM

    Too bad about Josh Gordon though.

  4. thetooloftools says: May 17, 2014 3:26 PM

    This guy was the best pick ever. He’s polarizing but he doesn’t go stupid either. If he can bring a winner here to Cleveland, we will change the name of the town to Manzielville. People are now going to watch the Browns because they either A)- want to see him and see if he has success or B)- can’t wait to watch him get his head caved in and stomped on and get his comeuppance.
    I don’t care HOW he got here, it’s the best pick ever and will be a nice parting gift before our owner goes to prison.

  5. captainwisdom8888 says: May 17, 2014 3:28 PM

    I think this could easily be a situation similar to Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson in Seattle a few years back. If you remember, everyone in the world said Matt Flynn was the starter and Russell Wilson would be gradually worked into the mix, but the coaches and the team as a whole came to the realization that Russell Wilson gave them the very best chance to win games…and the rest is history. I foresee the same thing with Johnny Manziell, and I think it will be sooner rather than later when the Cleveland Browns realize that this kid does give them the best chance to succeed.

  6. icelovinbrotha215 says: May 17, 2014 3:28 PM

    If that is how he really feels and thinks, he should find no problem in becoming a successful QB.

  7. jpaq68 says: May 17, 2014 3:32 PM

    I’ll bet it hurt him to say that

  8. citizenstrange says: May 17, 2014 3:33 PM

    I have no idea if Manziel will have success in the NFL though I think not.

    That said, if he keeps talking like that he will get a lot of people on his side rooting for him including me.

  9. normaneinstein7 says: May 17, 2014 3:34 PM

    The Cowboys will now have the Curse of Manziel. They will forever regret not taking him.

  10. kwjsb says: May 17, 2014 3:34 PM

    Go, go, go Johnny go go
    go Johnny go go
    go Johnny go go
    go Johnny go go
    Johnny Better B. Goode

  11. ballboy48 says: May 17, 2014 3:35 PM

    Everyone wants to make this kid out to be something he’s not. He seems pretty level headed, has done some good stuff with the local youth in Texas, and has been by the side of a kid that has neuroblastoma, for a few years. Yes, he’s young and likes to have fun, as we all did in our 20’s, but he’s just a polarizing player. I’m rooting for him.

  12. mf7krime says: May 17, 2014 3:38 PM

    The crazy attention he gets is going to wear thin with the other players in the Browns’ locker room, much like with Bob Griffin, but at least Bob delivered early so it was easier for the other players to accept it. Now you get a kid coming in that’s not going to perform right away but still will soak up much of the limelight in the factory of sadness and I’d be willing to bet the other players won’t love it.

  13. stampnhawk says: May 17, 2014 3:42 PM

    Technically, only 20 teams passed on you…he’s forgotten the Browns other 1st round pick? Mr. Irrelevant Mosely.

    His idea of earning his place in the team is taking the vets to Vegas, dropping some cash at the strip clubs for them (unlike Icognito/Martin, this is something JM would WANT to do, not feel obligated to do).

  14. kamthechancellor says: May 17, 2014 3:53 PM

    Why even say there’s a starter? Have a competition for hell’s sake. Let whoever plays best be the starter.

  15. pacodawg says: May 17, 2014 3:56 PM

    Bet the ranch, 401k, he’s the week 1 starter. Hoyer got cut from the cards in favor of John Skelton. Hoyer is what he is an unproven qb who nobody wanted

  16. citiciti says: May 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    #wreckthisleague

  17. hbdbrowns33 says: May 17, 2014 4:06 PM

    Bet the ranch, 401k, he’s the week 1 starter. Hoyer got cut from the cards in favor of John Skelton. Hoyer is what he is an unproven qb who nobody wanted

    That is not at all what happened in Arizona. The Cards brought him in after he got cut from Pittsburgh. (He was there for 2 weeks because Ben and his backup were hurt) He was only in Arizona for 2 weeks at the end of the season. He came into the game during the first week and played and then started the game the next week. He finished the season with them he didn’t get cut for Skelton.

  18. greymares says: May 17, 2014 4:06 PM

    With their first pick in the 2015 draft the Cleveland Brown will be selecting a QB to replace the novelty pick they made at that position this year. This kid will not be an N.F.L. QB.

  19. bobzilla1001 says: May 17, 2014 4:17 PM

    With a completely different coaching staff and different offensive scheme, that would put Hoyer and Manziel on even as far as “learning” a new offensive system. Both will be learning together, which would negate any previous positives that Hoyer had under a prior OC. Manziel should start week one only because he’s more talented and the “future is now.”
    Start Johnny against the Steelers and Dick LeBeau’s defensive scheme. Let’s see the kid’s so-called “IT” factor against a legend. Let’s get this rivalry back on track.

  20. buffalodiehard says: May 17, 2014 4:19 PM

    The Browns passed on him too.

  21. qdog112 says: May 17, 2014 4:25 PM

    “Manziel said he’s eager to show the teams that passed on him what they’re missing.”

    Poor fella can’t help himself. Trying to say the right things and his real feelings leak out. Johnny can’t fake all that “golly gee – folks I’m just glad to be here stuff”. Nobody buys it. He did n’t change his stripes in one day.

    It’s one thing to be motivated by being passed over, totally another to be DRIVEN by it. If he’s the new and improved brand, he should put in the work, show it on the field and in film study. Do less talking because it doesn’t sound like he really thinks he has to earn it, like he says.

  22. gainofivefirstdown says: May 17, 2014 4:25 PM

    Go Johnny! …and yeA, Go Brian Hoyer!!!

    No matter what the national media think, you are 100% correct, likely FAR MORE than you can even realize today:
    “Yes! We (Browns fans) are so sick & tired of all the losing that damn near ALL of us long-time, die-hard fans ** really do not ** care if it’s YOU who bring WINS, or Hoyer or any other Qb suited up and playing at any given moment. WE ALL JUST WANT WINS!

    GO BROWNS!!!

  23. j0esixpack says: May 17, 2014 4:31 PM

    Manziel also boldly predicted he could “wreck the league” – some pretty brash and bold words for an undersized QB

    But really, there’s nothing wrong with that sort of confidence – as long as he can back it up, regardless of which sentiments – the confidence or humility – are really true

    For my part, while I think a lot of Cleveland fans have been foolish and delusional in their support of regimes such as Mangini’s, Cleveland DESERVES a winning team every now and then

    This is one of the most storied, yet abused franchises.

    The NFL is a better place when Cleveland isn’t perceived as an NFL joke. I wish the team and Mazeil the best. He deserves tremendous credit if he can show himself to be “the chosen one!”

  24. moerawn says: May 17, 2014 4:44 PM

    If he really wants to get popular he should get a reality show.

  25. donmcg2012 says: May 17, 2014 4:46 PM

    He won’t last two seasons.

  26. Matt dog from C-town says: May 17, 2014 4:58 PM

    More good news from the new ” factory of gladness”

  27. turk2875 says: May 17, 2014 5:03 PM

    Who would’ve thought Johnny Football would be the humble one and Michael Sam be the selfish one..

  28. nflinsider711 says: May 17, 2014 5:03 PM

    Johnny Manziel will be a beast but I like Hoyer though , maybe the Browns can trade him for a day 2 pick.

  29. jimbo75025 says: May 17, 2014 5:14 PM

    j0esixpack says:
    May 17, 2014 4:31 PM

    For my part, while I think a lot of Cleveland fans have been foolish and delusional in their support of regimes such as Mangini’s, Cleveland DESERVES a winning team every now and then

    The NFL is a better place when Cleveland isn’t perceived as an NFL joke.
    —–
    I agree with most of your post, but singling out Mangini is wrong. The mistake in those years was bringing Holmgren in which destroyed the small amount of progress Mangini had made.

    I agree though that while I am far from a Cleveland fan, I believe it would be great for them to have a good team for a while. Their fans-along with Jacksonville and Oakland fans have suffered enough. I would add Detroit to the list but the Lions did have one good season a few years ago

  30. avenger9800 says: May 17, 2014 5:16 PM

    So many Hater’s. And what’s amazing to me, being a Cleveland fan, is most seem to be Browns fans!

  31. bushwoodcc says: May 17, 2014 5:20 PM

    Good attitude, and no it does not conflict with wanting to show people that they made a mistake in passing on him.

    It just shows he realizes that being a first round draft does not make him a starter in this league or even guarantee he’ll be on a roster in 4 years. He has to go out and earn that.

    Frankly, I think the days of QB’s being able to develop on the bench for a year or two are sorely missed. But that’s what big money does to the game. Maybe with the rookie max in place now we’ll start seeing more development of college QB’s over their first season or two instead of rushing them into the fire.

  32. mightyminer says: May 17, 2014 5:22 PM

    when does Manziel’s reality show start filming?

  33. clebrownsfan2 says: May 17, 2014 5:24 PM

    “People keep hatin’, but it ain’t working!” -Johnny Football

  34. phinsfanjoz says: May 17, 2014 5:28 PM

    As a Dolphins fan, for Cleveland’s sake, I hope Manziel Mania actually ends up working for them the way they hope it does.

    A long-suffering town and fanbase deserves to be competitive.

    Good luck, “Johnny Football”.

  35. notthetroll says: May 17, 2014 5:29 PM

    In other news from the ‘things my agent wrote and made me say’ file…..

  36. proceednet says: May 17, 2014 5:31 PM

    Johnny’s a slightly larger Doug Flukie.

  37. Dogsweat says: May 17, 2014 5:33 PM

    JM mania will end after another 2-14 season.

  38. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 17, 2014 5:34 PM

    Hope he does well. I just dont see how his style will translate to the NFL. Alot of his big plays were by running the ball or heaving the ball up and the WRs making miracle catches

    Im pulling for Johnny. Hope im wrong

    I have no problem with his confidence or swag. You better believe in yourself or else no one will. He surely is saying all the right things. Hope its not all an act. He seems like a smart person

  39. TheDPR says: May 17, 2014 5:47 PM

    I just googled “johnny manziel youtube” and clicked the first hit: Johnny Manziel Heisman Highlight Video Part 1. It is 5:31 long.

    He finally throws his first pass (while scrambling) at 3:15. His first pass from out of the pocket is at 3:25.
    This is a QUARTERBACK highlight reel.

    He’s the next Mike Vick. If that’s what Cleveland wants, they got it. Kid can RUN.

  40. bjsdad says: May 17, 2014 6:07 PM

    “I’m a rookie,” Manziel said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I need to earn my place. I need to earn my keep. I don’t need to be treated based off what I did in the past .,,,, unless my name is

    There is nothing wrong with this and it’s how I posted it before, but lets see how longs this lasts before the idiot deletes it

  41. stellarperformance says: May 17, 2014 6:19 PM

    I wish this kid good luck. Only because Bridgewater disparaged Cleveland and Manziel is saying the right things to earn the support of the fans. Good luck to the Browns. I hope Manziel exceeds your expectations. And I hope when Bridgewater learns to shut up, he forces his tiny fist down his own throat.

  42. raiderapologist says: May 17, 2014 6:26 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy says: May 17, 2014 5:34 PM

    Hope he does well. I just dont see how his style will translate to the NFL. Alot of his big plays were by running the ball or heaving the ball up and the WRs making miracle catches
    —————-
    He completed 73.5% of his passes from the pocket last season. Browns QBs combined for a 56.9% rate last year, worst in the league.

  43. tinytoolalldrool says: May 17, 2014 6:29 PM

    Good attitude to have.

  44. terrybradshawisdead says: May 17, 2014 6:54 PM

    whats the over/under on how many customers immediately trade for Manziel in Madden 15?

  45. terrybradshawisdead says: May 17, 2014 6:54 PM

    whats the over/under on how many customers immediately trade for Manziel in Madden 15?

  46. bornahawker says: May 17, 2014 6:57 PM

    However this dude plays out in the league, lets hope it’s a fun ride.

  47. hawkthunder says: May 17, 2014 7:06 PM

    This guys dumber than a doornail. Not enough sense to know when to come out of the rain or keep his mouth shut. Archie Manning fired him from PM QB camp b/c he showed up all hung over from the night before. He does what RWilson does and did. Learn the playbook backwards and forwards, is the first one there in the morning and the last to leave and watches film relentlessly and does what his coaches tell him. He’s not the star!!!

  48. sopadegato says: May 17, 2014 7:07 PM

    As a Texans fan, I hope Johnny goes out there and blows it away.

    Jadeveon Clowney’s got all the issues people say Manziel does (entitlement, arrogance, etc) but his flaws get glossed over, and Manziel’s get blown up. The difference is that one of them’s a hard worker and legitimately wants to play, and the other is just out for that fat #1 overall check and had a godawful 2013 season as a result.

  49. bassplucker says: May 17, 2014 7:08 PM

    The best thing that could have happened to Manziel was to not be a Top 10 pick. Because those guys are expected to start as a rookie on Day One. This way, the pressure is off, at least somewhat.

  50. foolmeonce says: May 17, 2014 7:14 PM

    There will be a nightclub/twitter/off field incident or two. That’s more of an issue of what he will be able to do on Sundays.

  51. jollyjoker2 says: May 17, 2014 7:28 PM

    No Johnny, this is America – you don’t have to earn anything. You just inherit it or steal it.

  52. mackcarrington says: May 17, 2014 7:49 PM

    Why do so many people think having your ego beaten down and being forced to be “humble” is a “good attitude”? What is wrong with you people? Being forced to act like a backup, and being treated like a rookie is not what they should be doing to Johnny Football. He deserves to be handed the starting job. He doesn’t need to “earn” anything. This guy is the biggest thing in pro football in decades, and the Browns want hold him down like he is some scrub? This is insane!

  53. hwould says: May 17, 2014 8:24 PM

    Dammit, this kid is growing on me. Go Browns! #WreckThisLeague

  54. bensstinkyfingers says: May 17, 2014 8:35 PM

    I have no doubt Johnny will “wreck the league” just may not happen until next year. I think he will be starting by the 2nd half of the season this year but will go through the learning curve this year. The best thing that can happen is Hoyer start the first 5-8 games, by then they will have a good idea what they have with him, and Manziel will get good learning experience from holding a clipboard and lots of actual game footage of the new system at work. Unfortunately, as a lifelong browns fan we know this town has had its fair share of QB controversy’s in the past. I know as soon as Hoyer throws multiple picks, or has low Qb ratings in a couple of gamesthe fanbase will be loudly chanting “JOhnny” JOhnny” On top of the media circus, it will be tough for the organization to keep what everyone wants, seeing Mr Football as the starter. One thing I know is this kid has created a buzz around this team that I have not seen in my 42 years a fan. Good Luck Johnny, you will be a Cleveland God if you can bring this town a title!!!

  55. barkhardandloud says: May 17, 2014 8:46 PM

    Gordon isnt even suspended as of yet. The test was back in Dec, but nothing ? Sounds like a major Rumor that “Leaked” on the night of the draft.

    Browns/Seahawks SuperBowl

  56. oldcracker says: May 17, 2014 8:56 PM

    Reminds me of the Army. They took a group of misfits (draft), tore us all down to the same pile of “nothing” and built us up into a team, a fighting machine, and each of us a valuable cog in that machine. One oversized part, and nothing worked.

  57. footballtalk1 says: May 17, 2014 9:42 PM

    Michael Sam are you taking notes?

  58. natijim235 says: May 17, 2014 10:08 PM

    funny johnny – say that day before game 1 and may believe you

  59. crumpledstiltskin says: May 17, 2014 10:11 PM

    Right approach. Now, follow through with the execution.

  60. mrtreyseven says: May 17, 2014 10:33 PM

    Were getting hyped off a Rookie mini camp. Never seen so many new Browns fans. We do realize he was the best QB in this draft not college in general right. Let Mariota, Hundley, and probably Miller from OSU who can do what Johnny does but faster, had came out Manziel would have easily been a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Just trying to figure out why expect greatness from a guy you skipped over for a DB when you just gave 50 mil to another. Could’ve got a guy from FA. The trend is to throw guys in the fire early now and not letting them grow. Hell even in college teams avoid starting true Freshmen at all cost in anticipation of a train wreck why should this be any difference

  61. jpaq68 says: May 17, 2014 10:35 PM

    The next Ryan Leaf

  62. holdsteady76 says: May 17, 2014 10:45 PM

    This from the guy who trade marked “The House That Johnny Built”. Modesty doesn’t suit you John, but must admit he can read a script well.

  63. kimbo71006 says: May 17, 2014 11:02 PM

    Manziel also boldly predicted he could “wreck the league” – some pretty brash and bold words for an undersized QB.

    ———————————————————

    Brees was an undersized QB and the rest is history.

    Enough said!

  64. simonator917 says: May 17, 2014 11:04 PM

    I just hope this is the start of something good for Cleveland. Those long–suffering fans deserve a break. You know, when you think about it, they might just be the best fans in the NFL. They’ve had so little to cheer for yet they still show up to support their team. I really hope they finally deliver for you!

  65. dabmasterhap says: May 18, 2014 12:20 AM

    Can you all just chill and let the kid play football? Time will tell the story. He has a chance to be successful with the offensive line and a solid running game. Hoyer will succeed also in Shans scheme.

  66. campcouch says: May 18, 2014 1:00 AM

    Imagine if Deion Sanders,Michael Irvin and Jim McMahon played during a time of social media. Manziel’s college life wouldn’t even register,but those guys are held up as characters that are beloved (or hated) in the NFL. Keep the Johnny Football persona. It’s great for marketing,and yes,you can market in Cleveland,ask LeBron. If he’s at best,pre-dog,Michael Vick or at worst,Jeff Garcia,it’d still be a good pick at 22. The other 31 teams will disagree,but I can’t wait to see those logoless orange helmets against the green football field.

  67. therealhardt says: May 18, 2014 1:12 AM

    got to give his agent/advisors a ton of credit for coaching the kid on what to say to the media.

    but let’s not forget he did sign autographs for money, putting his own self interest above his team’s and jeopardizing their season by potentially making himself ineligible.

    and he also was asked to leave the manning passing academy for whatever reasons.

    finally let’s not forget that “leaked” patriots scouting evaluation.

    if anyone thinks he is humble then his advisors are doing an incredible job of coaching him up…

  68. therealhardt says: May 18, 2014 1:13 AM

    “You know, when you think about it, they might just be the best fans in the NFL. They’ve had so little to cheer for yet they still show up to support their team.”

    have you ever been to Cleveland? there isn’t really much else to do there…

  69. leatherface2012 says: May 18, 2014 2:09 AM

    first time he gets hit, he should get up and look at the linebacker and say “umm excuse me, dont you know who i am”? i’m alec baldwin” !!!

  70. holdsteady76 says: May 18, 2014 4:18 AM

    The bench that johnny built.

  71. corvetteman6 says: May 18, 2014 5:13 AM

    “I got passed up by 21 teams….” “We’ve had to battle adversity….” “No one gave is a chance….”

    Yeah. Gotcha. Check. The standard, old, 21st century athletics cliche. Dear God, can’t you just play and shut up already?

  72. 1historian says: May 18, 2014 6:31 AM

    Smart kid. Good luck kid – the fans of Cleveland have been supporting the NFL for a lot of long losing seasons and they deserve a winner.

    Good luck.

  73. lookoutjim says: May 18, 2014 8:22 AM

    Great pick !!

  74. 86ward says: May 18, 2014 8:45 AM

    Tim Tebow v2.0

  75. johnnyjagfan says: May 18, 2014 9:07 AM

    He’s a blue-clear Texas kid. This whole “entitlement” thing is media-driven. He’s a gamer and I’ll hate life if I ever see a Browns-Jags championship game because Bortles has shown the emotion and fire of a Ken doll.

  76. ubepunkedagain says: May 18, 2014 10:29 AM

    Cleveland killed it in the draft this year. Gilbert, Manziel, Bitonio and West and Kirksey.. Tate, West and Crowell is stacked at RB. Then they added a guy like Desir late and added a future first more than likely to be a top 10. Farmer is off to a good start for GM of the year.

  77. therealhardt says: May 18, 2014 11:49 AM

    “He’s a blue-clear Texas kid.”

    what’s “blue-clear”? If you mean blue collar, I’d disagree since he grew up with multi-millionaire parents who inherited their $$$, drove a Mercedes in college, and his parents admit they didn’t discipline him much growing up. He’s the opposite of blue collar.

  78. condor75 says: May 18, 2014 12:35 PM

    This guy was the best pick ever. He’s polarizing but he doesn’t go stupid either. If he can bring a winner here to Cleveland, we will change the name of the town to Manzielville. People are now going to watch the Browns because they either A)- want to see him and see if he has success or B)- can’t wait to watch him get his head caved in and stomped on and get his comeuppance.
    I don’t care HOW he got here, it’s the best pick ever and will be a nice parting gift before our owner goes to prison. Hmm I guess Jim Brown must be greatly overrated

  79. brownstown77 says: May 18, 2014 1:44 PM

    If this guy can produce and make this team a playoff contender I can easily see him being the most popular Brown since Kosar.

  80. therealhardt says: May 18, 2014 10:17 PM

    “I don’t care HOW he got here, it’s the best pick ever and will be a nice parting gift before our owner goes to prison.”

    hasn’t played a down and he’s the “best pick ever”…I love the internet…

  81. therealhardt says: May 19, 2014 12:05 AM

    johnnyjagfan says:
    May 18, 2014 9:07 AM
    “He’s a gamer and I’ll hate life if I ever see a Browns-Jags championship game”

    I don’t think you have anything to worry about for the next couple of decades…

  82. mitchitized says: May 19, 2014 2:46 AM

    He’s going to have some great highlights against LeBeau’s defense, as the zone concept has always been a bit soft on running quarterbacks.

    That said, the defenders in the NFL hit a lot harder, run a lot faster, and will be happy to remove that loaf of bread that Johnny likes to carry around so loosely…

    I can see him burning my Steelers for long runs, but getting strip-sacked and blasted a couple times too. Will definitely be interesting to see how long he lasts at this level.

    Could this be the Browns’ first gamer at QB since, well, Bionic Bernie? Will the rivalry renew itself this year?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!