Tebow wasn't on an NFL roster last season, but did end up gaining traction in the media through his large fan base that hasn't given up on his playing skills or faith system that many flock to in interest of what he is currently up to at the moment. Even after his transition from Denver to New York and eventually his short stint at New England.
New Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine was in the midst of this Tebow-mania with the Jets, and recalled it this week.
Pettine said the attention surrounding rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is much different than the hype surrounding Tim Tebow.
“The circumstances are different,” Pettine said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Tebow was an established NFL player [when he was traded to the Jets], he wasn’t coming in as a rookie, unproven. It’s a little easier for us with Manziel because he understands he earned Johnny Football as a college player and nobody understands it more than him. It’s like, ‘Listen, I don’t want to be named starter coming out of the draft.”
Manziel has faced many of the same questions as Tebow did during his time in the league, surrounded by uncertainty over whether the playmaking ability he showed at Texas A&M will translate to the NFL or whether his small stature will catch up with him in the end. There seem to be as many people thinking he will be a bust almost as soon as he gets out of the gate in gameplay as there are thinking he will be a star quarterback.
For the moment Manziel is still second behind Brian Hoyer in the race for starting quarterback. There are two more days left in mini-camp before it finally gets to an end. Hoyer went through a stretch of two complete sets of 7-on-7 snaps with the starting offense without a ball touching the grass, and his deep touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Chandler Jones was arguably the best play of the two-hour practice.
“I think Brian anticipates very well, and that’s one of the differences between college football and the NFL. College quarterbacks sometimes, and sometimes based on their system, they wait until guys get open. That’s a very common thing,” head coach Mike Pettine said. “It’s rare to have a guy coming out of college that can anticipate the break. Brian understands the windows are smaller in the NFL, and the younger quarterbacks are kind of finding out how tight the windows are in the NFL.”
For now Manziel will be grabbing all the headlines over Hoyer as the pre-season draws closer to starting. It could be a good opportunity for the QB to maintain being under the radar while dueling for the head quarterback position that clearly has fans wanting to see Manziel over Hoyer. The city of Cleveland will have to wait and see if the pressure is to great for Hoyer to handle -- or if Manziel ends up following in the footsteps as Tebow did in a short lived NFL career.