Johnny Manziel didn’t meet the lofty expectations set for him as a rookie due to a variety of reasons—both on and off the field—but a renewed work ethic has the Cleveland Browns quarterback turning a few heads, one of which is team owner Jimmy Haslam.
Following the Browns’ intrasquad scrimmage on Friday, according to ESPN’s Pat McManamon, Haslam said of Manziel:
“I think he’s starting to grow up, and he’s starting to understand that you have to work hard and you got to get after it every day. Hopefully, he’s learning to do that. He’s got to prove that he’ll do it over a period of time. But so far so good.”
Though Manziel finished the scrimmage completing 9-of-11 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns, his stat line wasn’t the main takeaway. Rather, it was another player who he impressed in the process: left tackle Joe Thomas.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group notes Thomas said:
“We always knew he had the talent. … You’re starting to see the work that he put in off the field, but the commitment that he’s made in the meeting room. Studying film when he doesn’t need to be. Doing the things that a starting quarterback has to do.”
While Josh McCown remains above Manziel on the depth chart, the Texas A&M product Manziel to have shaken off a disappointing rookie campaign. He only appeared in five games, but it seems Manziel has realized how much off-field focus is required to succeed in the NFL.
Manziel’s case is yet another reminder that it’s foolish to write off any player after an underwhelming debut, no matter the initial hype surrounding him.
The 22-year-old might not become a star in the NFL, but Manziel is taking steps to ensure that, for better or worse, he at least receives the chance to prove himself.
Photo: USA Today Sports