Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel told ESPN on Oct. 24 he has been keeping in touch with four-time NBA MVP and good friend LeBron James. Manziel said he has visited James' house on several occasions "to kind of get away and relax." He plans to watch James as he takes the court for the Cleveland Cavaliers' home opener on Oct. 30 against the New York Knicks.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has been keeping in touch with Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.
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Manziel told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Oct. 24 he has been visiting James' at his residence "to kind of get away and relax." Fowler also reports Manziel plans to be at the Cavaliers' home opener on Oct. 30 against the New York Knicks to support James:
"Johnny Manziel plans to attend the Cleveland Cavaliers' home opener Thursday against the New York Knicks to support friend LeBron James, who keeps in touch with the Browns quarterback.
"Manziel is still the Browns' backup to Brian Hoyer, who's led Cleveland to a 3-3 record.
"'He's done a good job, which I'm thankful for, of kind of checking in on me, making sure things are good,' Manziel said of James. 'I've gone out to his house a couple of times and gotten the chance to kind of get away and relax.'
"Manziel, who has signed a marketing deal with James' longtime partners LRMR and Maverick Carter, said he's spent time observing how James 'goes throughout every day of his life' for pointers on how to navigate professional sports life.
"Manziel hasn't seen a snap in three games and it's uncertain when he will next. He doesn't seem to be clamoring for attention during his time in in the shadows.
"'There's been enough drama around me and my life for a couple of years now,' said Manziel, a lightning rod of publicity ever since his Heisman Trophy-winning campaign in 2012. 'For me, I know whenever camp was over, when we got into the roles of who was going to play what role, Brian was named the starter, I was named the backup.
"'Now I need to play my role of being the backup and that's that.'"
Manziel has remained patient despite a potential opportunity to be the Browns' starting quarterback in Week 8 after Brian Hoyer's mediocre outing against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 19. In that game, Hoyer was 16 of 41 for 215 yards with no touchdowns, per The Northeast Ohio Media Group's Mary Kay Cabot:
"Johnny Manziel hasn't fantasized about getting off the bench this week against the (Oakland) Raiders, despite Brian Hoyer's worst career game in Jacksonville and fans calling for his job.
"'I'm still just playing my role what these coaches have for me, so I don't think it's any eagerness or urgency or anything,' said Manziel. 'If the time down the road comes were it's my time to get in the gameplan, then when that chance is, I think I need to capitalize on those moments.'
"Besides, Manziel isn't about to go stirring the pot b saying he'd like to contribute even in some small way.
"'I think there's been enough drama around me and my life for a couple of years now,' he said. 'So for me, I know whenever camp was over and we got into the roles of who was going to play what role, Brian was named the starter and I was named the backup, and now I need to play my role of the backup and that's that.'
"'He said it's not his place to pipe up and say he wants to play.
"'I don't really know if that's my role right now,' he said. 'I'm just staying in my own lane trying to get better.'
"Manziel defended Hoyer, who against Jacksonville completed only 16 of 41 attempts for 215 yards with no touchdowns and one interception for a career-low 46.3 rating. Hoyer, in his first full game without Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, also lost a fumble after a sack. The outing toppled him from No. 8 in the NFL with a 99.5 rating to No. 22 at 88.0
"'Anytime you go out being in the quarterback position and you play well, you get more credit than you deserve and when you play bad you get more blame than you probably deserve,' said Manziel. 'If you go back and look at the tape, it was a complete team effort for us to go out and play the way we did, and I wouldn't hinge that on any one person anywhere on the offense.'
"...He declined to grade his progress in the scheme.
"'I don't know if it's my job or my place to sit here and measure how I'm doing every week,' he said. 'When you sit and look at the plays and they spring in your head a lot quicker, you don't have to sit there and picture in your mind and move everything around, it comes more naturally, that's progress for me. And obviously I feel like I'm throwing the ball better by week and still continuing to work on my mechanics. Little things that add up will go a long way for me.'"
Hoyer was 19 of 28 for 275 yards and one touchdown in Cleveland's Week 8 home win over the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 26, per ESPN.
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