Perhaps the reason Browns coach Mike Pettine can seem so normal talking about the hype surrounding quarterback Johnny Manziel is the fact he had ringside seats for the Tim Tebow experiment in New York.
Pettine said that experience helped him handle the current one, thought there was a distinction.
“The circumstances are different,” Pettine said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Tebow was an established NFL player, he wasn’t coming in as a rookie, unproven. It’s a little easier for us with Manziel because he understands he earned Johnny Football as a college player and nobody understands it more than him. It’s like, ‘Listen, I don’t want to be named starter coming out of the draft.’
“People criticize us for referring to him as a backup. That’s what he is. It would have been a disservice to the other 80-some players in the locker room and it would have been a service to him carrying that burden of ‘What have you done to deserve this?’ We all want him to be successful but there is a process that has to occur and he has to go through it.”
While there’s an air of inevitability about Manziel ascending to the starting job, he’s also handled himself at all football events the way a rookie should.
Whether he’s partying in Las Vegas with Rob Gronkowski or preaching on his weekends off shouldn’t matter, if the work gets done during the week.