Joe Thomas: Johnny Manziel lost trust of locker room last year

AP

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel might be nearing the end of his rehab, but he still has a way to go before he can legitimately walk back onto the field for his team.

Last year’s first-round pick still has a long climb back to football relevance, after making such a mess of his hand-delivered starting assignment last year. And it’s the way he handled that assignment that makes his teammates wonder.

“I think he’s going to have to prove to the team that football is important and being the man, being the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, is important, it is his goal, his single goal in his life,” left tackle Thomas told Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. “You know, I think he lost probably a lot of trust among the guys on the team last year by the way he handled himself once he became the starter. And I think he had a lot of time to reflect, I’m guessing, after the season was over by the comments he made in the media and by his actions, checking himself into rehab, . . . I think those were really positive steps.

“I’m hoping when we comes back in April we see a new Johnny and everybody’s blown away with his commitment. And I think he’s got the talent, so it’s just a matter of if he commits himself to it, we can have a really good quarterback on our hands.”

Of course, the Browns have covered themselves for the possibility that he won’t by signing Josh McCown, and the fact they’ve been linked with Sam Bradford and Marcus Mariota makes it clear they’re not finished at the position.

“Obviously there’s some uncertainty with Johnny right now and that’s why we brought in Josh,” Thomas said. “He’s a guy that if he’s asked to carry the flag this year, he’s going to do a great job. There’s a chance we draft somebody or there’s a chance Johnny comes back and he’s a new person and he’s rededicated to football, and he turns into the great quarterback that we expected when we drafted him in the first round.”

And doing that might prove to be a bigger hurdle than anything he’s doing off the field.

53 responses to “Joe Thomas: Johnny Manziel lost trust of locker room last year

  1. The person I feel most sorry for in the entire NFL is Joe Thomas (with the possible exception of the 53 players forced to dress up as Vikings each week).

    He is the best at his position, he plays well each and every week and all he has to look forward to is playing for the Cleveland Browns. He deserves better.

  2. I didn’t want the Browns to draft Manziel, but this is the hand that Haslam has stuck the team with, in all his wisdom.

    No way the Browns just give up on a first round draft pick that easily, but any chances he gets he’s going to have to earn. Hard to say, from what we saw last year, if he’s really up to it or cares enough to actually try.

    We’ll see.

    But, this is why the Browns absolutely should not make a big move for Mariota, or Bradford, or anyone.

  3. It would be funny if Manziel succeeded, at this point only because there is a full on witch hunt over a 22 year old kid who has “no future” is a total “bust” and is the next “Ryan Leaf”.

    Last I checked Ryan Leaf just got done completing a 2 year sentence in jail, not rehab….

  4. Why wasn’t Thomas asked the obvious question, “Joe, can you give us some examples of what he did to lose the team’s confidence?”.

  5. The street bum disagrees with you Joe, and we all know the bum has the silver spooner’s ear.

  6. Manziel believed the media hype that last year’s draft was only about him and Michael Sam.
    .

  7. The World Famous three ring circus, (JETS, BROWNS, RAIDERS), put out a sorry football product, but are great for comedy and just SMH.

  8. I really wonder why NO leaders on the Browns team didnt pull this guy to the side and tell him about himself back then? All these guys are speaking up now, you should have did it then! Getting journeyman to fill your QB spot isnt helping your team either!

  9. I see so many young QB’s in the NFL that could benefit from a fresh start – Johnny Manziel, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, and Mike Glennon just off the top of my head. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any swaps amongst them like the Foles for Bradford deal.

  10. I’m still laughing at him expecting Josh McCown to do a great job. Although I guess with the Browns, 5 decent games in a 14 year career of failure = greatness.

  11. It must be hard for the kids of rich daddies to develop the kind of fire in their guts needed to succeed in the NFL, particularly at the QB position. Manziel has never had to worry about money, and has been raised as a truly privileged kid with a lot of talent, but seemingly more of a desire to “enjoy life” than to work hard. I commend him for entering rehab, but the Ryan Leaf comparisons still come to mind….

  12. I feel pity for Thomas, he’s to good to be on suck a lousy team/organization.

  13. Less than 1 year ago old Gil Brandt was promoting Johnny Manziel to be the first player taken in the Draft and vouching for his high character. What happened?

  14. Why are even continuing to talk about this loser with below marginal NFL skills?

    I must say however, going to rehab represents the one and only sensible decision I can recall him ever making. Only time will tell if this yet another one of his schemes.

  15. Big dilemma. On one hand you put all your eggs in the Manziel basket. On the other hand he is a basket case. So do you draft another high round QB? If you do you’re admitting to defeat and blowing all the $ on Manziel – because no one else is going to take on his contract.

    I don’t think they have the financial fortitude to do that. Mannziel will continue to haunt Cleveland for years!

  16. Browns fans sure don’t deserve Joe Thomas. Year after year they force him to play on a losing team, because every year the Browns fans 100% support every decision the front office makes. They just ran the QB out of town who had the best record for them since they returned in the 90s, a guy who grew up in Cleveland. Why? Because as much as Cleveland claims “loyalty”, they’re clearly not loyal at all, or very smart. Hoyer 9-6 or 10-6 depending on how you see it wasn’t good enough for the elite Browns fans. You should hear them here in Cleveland worshiping Manziel, who shares none of the city’s values and obviously sucks now that Mike Evans isn’t catching his jump balls anymore. They really should give another city like San Antonio or a city that understands football a franchise and just pull the plug on the Browns. There are so many other cities that have actually knowledgeable football fans.

  17. Manziel is not at fault for all the hype surrounding his ascension. Blame rests with the media and hopeful fans, who know little about what it takes to play NFL level football.

    All Manziel did was ride the wave of popularity. He knew who he was and told everybody else who he was. On top of that, he said he was NOT gonna change. Some applauded. Now the applause has faded and his past invites exponentially more scrutiny, Johnny faces uncharted waters in his attempt to come back.

    Keep in mind, a comeback for a second year enigma has never taken place. This is a first and the smart money says, he will succumb to the 27/365/24 pressure. Every mistake on the field or photo off the field, will be a story. Maybe he should travel north to the CFL.

  18. Just putting down the coke spoon would be a win for Manziel at this point. While I never thought he had what it takes to succeed as a starting NFL quarterback, he is a human being who has a whole life ahead of him if he can break his addictions. I wish him well.

  19. Meanwhile Teddy Bridgewater continues to study and practice his craft with the focus of a mature professional. Pay attention John.

  20. These guys talk too much. What is the benefit of coming out in public saying this?

    This is a cop out by the way, there’s a reason Manziel eventually started… that was because the Browns and Hoyer sucked.

  21. I do not know any second string QBs that have the trust of the locker room. That unfortunately is the NFL. BTW that is a coaches fault not the second string QB.

  22. If he comes back and becomes “Johnny Film Room” and works hard at his craft who knows………

  23. “harbourimages says:
    Apr 6, 2015 9:02 AM
    It must be hard for the kids of rich daddies to develop the kind of fire in their guts needed to succeed in the NFL, particularly at the QB position. Manziel has never had to worry about money, and has been raised as a truly privileged kid with a lot of talent, but seemingly more of a desire to “enjoy life” than to work hard. I commend him for entering rehab, but the Ryan Leaf comparisons still come to mind….”

    Yeah – It was tough for Peyton to have that fire in his belly after being raised as a privileged kid.

  24. People say Joe Thomas may be wasting away in Cleveland.

    But I look at a story like this, and can picture his Browns experience leading him to excel in a front office capacity, whether it be in Cleveland or elsewhere.

    Hopefully here in CLE.

  25. I feel bad for Joe Thomas. One of the best players in the league at any position for the last 10 years and has totally wasted his career in that organization. I hope he’s enjoying the money anyway, and has the good sense to retire soon enough that he still has health to enjoy it.

  26. pigseye1859 says:
    Apr 6, 2015 10:25 AM
    “harbourimages says:
    Apr 6, 2015 9:02 AM
    It must be hard for the kids of rich daddies to develop the kind of fire in their guts needed to succeed in the NFL, particularly at the QB position. Manziel has never had to worry about money, and has been raised as a truly privileged kid with a lot of talent, but seemingly more of a desire to “enjoy life” than to work hard. I commend him for entering rehab, but the Ryan Leaf comparisons still come to mind….”

    Yeah – It was tough for Peyton to have that fire in his belly after being raised as a privileged kid.
    ———————————————————

    Also, there’s the examples of the poor kids who have no fire, and basically quit as soon as they get that big payday – see; Jamarcus Russell. So it’s not really the background that makes the big difference, anybody can be an unmotivated self-destructor.

  27. Like I said when he was riding on the donkey in the off-season, will the Browns just admit the mistake and just cut him? This guy’s father’s been trying to get through to him since high school. Again, since high school he’s had these problems, so I doubt things are going to get fixed now along with him catching up from out of the remedial spread to learn how to play drop back, big boy football all at the same time. One thing’s for sure, I haven’t ever seen a whole organization pretty much turn the page all at once. Even with Jamarcus Russell, people were still circling the wagons, even if it was because of Al Davis’ insistence. Even Ryan Leaf still had believers after the “knock it off” tirade.

  28. A swelled head, plus booze, will create a lack of confidence. Self inflicted by the jerk.

  29. keep your mouth shut meathead. They pay you to block not speak. This ‘leader’ ran his mouth negatively about Johnny before last season and all through camp. He’s biased and only morons would point to his statements as a form of leadership. Looking at comments…there appears to be many of you.

  30. The Browns are the soap opera of the NFL. Ive never heard players in any organization, front office and an owner run their mouths more than these clowns that are part of a joke of a franchise.

    If talking were relevant, the Browns would be Super Bowl Champs every year.

    Johnny was a stupid draft pick to begin with. Joe Thpmas is the most overrated overhyped LT in the NFL. He always gets called for false starts, holding and gets beat like a drum by elite pass rushers. You may want to shut your mouth Joe Thomas. I havent seen you do one thing that has helped this team win games

  31. A qb with no experience being under center. Whose footwork is terrible in 2, 3 and 5 step drops. The inability to anticipate and throw his wrs open. And a so so arm.

    The vaunted SEC and their media machine hyped this boob up. The league humbles these types of players, yearly. Will he matter long term. Doubt it.

  32. I doubt that Manziel has fixed a lifetime’s worth of issues in two months. If he’s committed to turning things around and doing the things he needs to do,he might be okay. It’s an everyday battle when you’re an addict,so we will see. I personally am not a fan of his,but you never want to see a young person self-destruct.

  33. whatjusthapped says:
    Apr 6, 2015 7:50 AM
    The person I feel most sorry for in the entire NFL is Joe Thomas (with the possible exception of the 53 players forced to dress up as Vikings each week).

    He is the best at his position, he plays well each and every week and all he has to look forward to is playing for the Cleveland Browns. He deserves better.
    _________________________________________

    “all he has to look forward to is playing for the Cleveland Browns.” Well, there’s that 84 million dollars, too.

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