Johnny Manziel “100 percent” happy spotlight isn’t on him

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

During the 2014 NFL season, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel couldn’t escape the spotlight, but the second-year player is “100 percent” happy that the non-stop media attention hasn’t continued to 2015.

According to ESPN’s Pat McManamon, Manziel said he’s most thankful for the opportunity to learn while not being constantly scrutinized:

“It’s nice to come out here and wear any kind of shoes that I want and it’s not the main story the next day. … The hype is a little bit tempered and a little bit down, and that for me is a good thing. Now I can just come out and play and do my game and really get to learn, because that’s what I really needed to do is to learn.”

Manziel also said he’s pleased with his progression, calling it a “night-and-day difference from last year.”

However, the 2014 first-round pick is still behind Josh McCown on the depth chart and needs to overcome a relatively poor showing in limited time last season. Manziel appeared in five games, completing 18-of-35 passes for 175 yards and tossing two interceptions. He added 29 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Cleveland isn’t expected to be tremendously competitive in 2015, so Manziel figures to receive extended playing time during the regular season no matter who is originally the starter.

The Texas A&M product deserves a real, multi-game opportunity to prove if he’s a capable NFL quarterback. After that stretch, Manziel will show whether or not the spotlight has a legitimate reason to glow in his direction.

Photo: USA Today Sports