People who get paid to say controversial things on television have certainly been saying them about Johnny Manziel.
But Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan praised his backup quarterback, saying he was excited to see him on the field.
“[He’s] worth a first-round draft pick,” Shanahan said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We liked him. I’m glad he’s here. I’ve loved coaching Johnny so far, he’s a professional. I don’t really know all the stuff that people are ripping him about. I don’t have time to read it all, but Johnny’s been great. I’m excited to see him play, [and I] think you guys will be too.”
Shanahan wouldn’t offer any specifics on how he planned to use Manziel this week against the Steelers, and said he’s never used two quarterbacks in a game on purpose before. But he was careful to draw a line between the faded fad Wildcat package and what they want to do with Johnny Football.
“To me, my understanding of what a Wildcat is is a guy who can’t play quarterback who’s playing the quarterback position,” Shanahan said. “Johnny’s a quarterback. Just because you’re in the pistol doesn’t mean you’re in the Wildcat. You can do the pistol with Hoyer, you can do it with anybody. I think the Wildcat is when a running back is playing the quarterback position or a guy that can’t throw.
“Both of our quarterbacks can throw. One can run better than the other, so you might do a few more plays with one that you wouldn’t do with the other, but you mix it up with everybody and try to make the defense defend everything.”
The Steelers are obviously expecting to see Manziel at some point, and they should. Because given the time and energy and investment the Browns have put into Manziel, you know they can’t wait to unveil him.