The above quote from Cleveland Browns’ Johnny Manziel was followed with clarifying statements. Manziel made it clear that he believe he would be ready when he actually got to Week 1, but that he only had the one Pre-Season game. He stated “I don’t want that taken out of context.”
Within his context this was a very interesting, and encouraging statement for a number of reasons. We expect that his statement will get taken out of context, even though he did an appropriate job of clearly stating why he made the statement. Later, in a conversation with Jon Gruden that will be heard in full today, Manziel stated that he believed the best QB should start.
Yet this writer is encouraged by this set of statements from Johnny for these reasons:
- Shows his respect for the NFL.
- Shows he understands that his development is a process.
- Shows he is not taking anything for granted.
- Shows he is knows he has more to learn over the next 3 pre-season games.
- Most of all it shows he has bought into the company line.
It is the last point that is most encouraging about Manziel for long term. Unlike the national media, or some Browns fans, this writer’s biggest concern is for Manziel in seasons 2, 3 and 4, not as much season 1. While the company line may be a bit ridiculous, ‘Johnny’s got to know he is a rookie, know his place’ line, he seems to have embraced it.
That willingness to be coached, taught and directed will assist him much better on the field then off. On the field Manziel has a few things he needs to learn, develop and move on from. Staying in the pocket, hitting his read on time, making his progressions and keeping himself from taking big hits all need to be worked on. Manziel will work on these things whether he starts Week 1 or not.
So Manziel says he isn’t ready for the Steelers but in context still has confidence in himself to be ready by Week 1. Instead of seeing this as a sign of him struggling or having a lack of confidence, instead see it as a fully bought in player. His coach and owner gave him clear direction and he seems to have taken it to heart. An obedient rookie is likely to gain the respect of his coaches and fellow players. I, for one, am glad to see it. It bodes well for his future in the league, whether he is the opening week starter or not.
What did you take from these Manziel statements?