Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has "come a long way" according to head coach Mike Pettine.
Johnny Manziel has come a long way.
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No less than Manziel's head coach, Mike Pettine, sang his praises to FOX Sports Ohio on Nov. 13:
"Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was a hot topic for Houston-area media who spoke with head coach Mike Pettine on a conference call Wednesday.
"Manziel, who hails from Texas and played at Texas A&M, was talked about at one time as a potential option for the Texans with their No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL draft. Instead, Houston selected defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and Manziel fell to No. 22 in the first round, where he was picked by the Browns.
"When asked about the rookie quarterback, Pettine seemed to separate Manziel the football player from Manziel the celebrity.
"'Johnny Manziel the football player has been great for us,' Pettine said. 'He comes in the building, he prepares, he helps Brian (Hoyer) out as far as his preparation as the starter, he works hard in practice, he works hard in the weight room, he works hard in the meeting room.
"'If you lived under a rock and you didn't know who he was and you just kind of spent some time around the building, he's just another guy on the team,' Pettine said. 'There is nothing in the way he carries himself that you would think that there is any diva-like qualities or anything like that. He's humble and he's a worker.'
"Manziel's celebrity has trumped his playing time thus far in year one. The last time Manziel saw the field during a game was in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
"While Manziel hasn't gotten the snaps, Pettine said he's seeing development in the 21-year-old.
"'His game has come a long way since the beginning of the season,' Pettine said. 'Just coming off the practice field now -- he had a heck of a day throwing when he was taking the reps as the backup and also some of the scout team reps.'"
In another development, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach discussed his time working with Manziel on a commercial with USA Today's Nina Mandell on Nov 13:
"It was kind of fun. We're all together, we're there in our military uniforms sipping tea and Johnny's over there dancing with all these gals. We're all in the same room with the split screen and then Johnny fired a football to the guy standing next to me, who was an actor from Hollywood in an admiral's uniform and hit him -- it wasn't a leather ball but it was a rubber-looking football so it didn't hurt as much -- and then he looks at me and says, 'How many takes are we going to do on this?'
"Anyway, Johnny Football threw five footballs against this guy and that was part of the spoof is we had these fun-loving college kids and these old military guys and the theme of it was 'What if Roger Staubach and Johnny Football lived together?'
"Well, I'll tell you, on the field he and I would be very similar. I'm as competitive as he is, but he's a nice kid, too. Off the field, he's you know, lived the higher life. Of course I was married with three kids when I was in the Navy. So by the time I joined the Cowboys I obviously had a family and everything and Johnny's still having a good time.
"He works hard, he's very competitive and he's in Cleveland. The Cleveland quarterback, (Brian) Hoyer's doing a good job so I think Johnny is going to get his chance in the NFL one day and he's going to be a good quarterback.
"When you're older, you have to be careful on advice, sometimes people listen sometimes people don't, some of my grandkids I try to give some advice. But I did. I told him (Manziel) on the field the things is your teammates have to have confidence in you. And I said the most important thing you can do is make sure transfer your confidence to them because if they don't have confidence in you, you're not going to get the job done. It's a team game, it's a team effort and so he is such a good player and his confidence in himself but he cannot lose the confidence of his teammates.
"That can happen in a lot of different ways but you never want that to happen whether it's off-the-field escapades or on the field when you're not working hard. But Johnny works hard and I think off the field when you're not working hard. But Johnny works hard and I think off the field he has a good time but it can't diminish the feelings his teammates have for him as far as trying to win a football game. That's about the only thing I really talked to him about a little bit. I don't know if he listened or not but other than that we just had a good time doing the commercial."
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