Johnny Manziel ready to be a starter for Cleveland Browns?


Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Football, was written off by many Cleveland Browns fans pretty much two snaps into his NFL regular season debut in 2014.

When the big news of him going into rehab trickled through, many were sure: Manziel will never take another snap for the Browns. However, ever since he was released from rehab, there have been 100 percent positive headlines on Manziel’s development. So where are we now? Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo joined in on the conversation.

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As per The Plain Dealer, DeFilippo seems extremely positive about Manziel, saying that “Johnny’s been great, he’s been fantastic.” While, last season, partying played a big part in Manziel’s life, he seems to have a completely different mindset coming out of rehab. Everybody seems positive about him, he reportedly moved out to the suburbs, and seems to enjoy a quiet life while focusing on football.

“What he wants to talk about, before he stepped foot back in this building is his business,” DeFilippo said about Manziel after the second day of the rookie mini-camp. “All I know is Johnny the football player, and he’s been awesome. He’s been working hard, very hard with myself and (quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell), and doing what we want him to do on the field.”

The offensive coordinator continued to praise Manziel, saying that “he’s been nothing but a consummate professional” ever since he stepped in the building for the first time this season. “He’s spent every hour that he’s been allowed to spend in this building.”

Apr 19, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel sits in the front row prior to game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

So what does that tell us? Will Manziel, the quarterback that was once supposed to be a great talent, get a real shot next season and perhaps even start over Josh McCown? On Manziel’s college career, DeFilippo says that “they ran a lot of the same pass concepts as you run in the NFL.” However, he finds Manziel’s game unorthodox. “He likes to escape the pocket, he does a lot of impromptu stuff and the thing Johnny’s doing right now is he’s improving his game of being a NFL quarterback and he’s making great strides in doing that.”

If the coaches believe that he is ready, there is no need to have a quarterback sit on the bench.

All of that sounds like really great news. As per head coach Mike Pettine, new acquisition McCown is the favorite to start the season – which is not surprising. When a young man comes out of a rehabilitation clinic, you have to go about things very slowly. Nevertheless, if the coaches believe that Manziel is ready, there is no need to have a quarterback sit on the bench just because you want to go about things slowly.

The offseason is still long. Manziel still has time to improve, the offensive line has time to improve, and the quarterbacks have time to find some chemistry with the new group of wide receivers. If Manziel keeps progressing as quickly as he has been so far, we may all be allowed to get excited for the beginning of the season and Manziel’s first snap.

Nothing is guaranteed, but the important thing is this: right now, Johnny Football is concentrating on just that – football.

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