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.

67 responses to “Ray Farmer: Johnny Manziel is being treated like all the other rookies

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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 🙂 )

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 .

  8. 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!

  9. 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!”.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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……..

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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

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

  26. 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

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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..

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

    Go Browns!

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

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