Johnny Manziel not making a ‘huge deal’ out of first-team reps
Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine indicated that Johnny Manziel “probably” will get some reps with the first team offense during the team’s scrimmage on Friday, but both he and the quarterback did their best to downplay any significance to it.
“The quarterback rotation, we’ll get Josh (McCown) some reps but maybe not as many as the others,” Pettine said, via Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot. “You’ll probably see Johnny out there with the ones. I don’t know if they’ve totally etched that in stone, but that was the direction we were heading.”
Saying the decision was based upon the desire to “mix up the supporting cast,” Pettine indicated that incumbent and long-presumed starter Josh McCown “right now is firmly” remains the team’s starting quarterback.
Reacting to Pettine’s comments about McCown being firmly entrenched in the starting role, Manziel, who reportedly struggled a bit early on in camp, did his best to play the good soldier.
“If that’s what he said, then we’ll handle it as needed,” he said. “So it’ll be good to get in there with those guys. I’ve been taking some reps in walk-throughs with them and things like that. I wouldn’t make a huge deal about it, but to just get in and get some reps with those guys is always good.”
Characterizing his experiences in training camp this time around as “night and day” compared to his rookie season, Manziel did acknowledge that getting acclimated to not being “The Guy” is a difficult transition.
“I’d never really been a backup before,” he said. “So this year, I’m definitely just trying to take a little bit different approach and if I take care of my business and show that I’m getting better and go out in the preseason and play well, then who knows what’ll happen?”
Manziel, who declared that “football is my life” recently, has been saying and doing all the right things heading into his second season after an essentially disastrous rookie campaign. From seeking treatment on his own to making a public apology for his issues retiring his “Johnny Football” persona and ditching his infamous “Money” sign, Manziel certainly seems to have his head screwed on straight now, perhaps because he recognizes he won’t have infinite opportunities in the NFL.