Joe Thomas: Manziel ‘Night and Day from last year’
By Paul Noel
In an exclusive interview with NFL Media’s Andrea Kremer, Browns veteran left tackle Joe Thomas heaped praise on teammate Johnny Manziel. These comment’s come just weeks after it was reported that Thomas said that Manziel “lost probably a lot of trust“ among teammates with the way he handled himself as a rookie last season.
When Thomas spoke about Manziel earlier in the month he made it known how he felt, but he also said some encouraging thing’s about Manziel reaching out for help. Thomas also mapped out what it would take for Manziel to win back the lockroom.
Nov 30, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills won 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
"“I think he’s going to have to prove to the team that football is important and being the man, being the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, is important, it is his goal, his single goal in his life. You know, I think he lost probably a lot of trust among the guys on the team last year by the way he handled himself once he became the starter. And I think he had a lot of time to reflect, I’m guessing, after the season was over by the comments he made in the media and by his actions, checking himself into rehab … I think those were really positive steps. I’m hoping when we comes back in April we see a new Johnny and everybody’s blown away with his commitment. And I think he’s got the talent, so it’s just a matter of if he commits himself to it, we can have a really good quarterback on our hands.” – Joe Thomas"
A little over three weeks has passed since those words were made public, and in the exclusive interview with Kremer, Thomas seems to have been changed by Manziel’s actions thus far, and is impressed and encouraged.
“The way he is now is night and day from last year with his commitment, and he’s got a bright future ahead of him.” Thomas further said that Manziel has changed and now spends his Saturdays studying the playbook and watching film instead of riding “a swan in a swimming pool drinking champagne.” Thomas further said that, “It’s apparent he’s realized how important football is to him. He’s realized you can’t get away with those things anymore.”
It’s impressive and encouraging how fast Manziel has been singing a different tune, but of course it’s still early and the season has yet to truly get underway. But for everyone who has faith that this kid can change his path, this is great news.
Manziel’s rookie season as we all know was a complete disaster, so much so that all the rumors about the Browns in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft is them lusting over quarterback Marcus Mariota. Thomas’s comments about Manziel earlier in the month only affirmed what everyone thought was going on behind the closed doors of Berea last season, but the news that he’s working hard and study the playbook are very encouraging. Perhaps it’s still too early to let Manziel run back into our good graces, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Are you surprised and encouraged by Joe Thomas’ sudden change of heart on quarterback Johnny Manziel?