Suddenly Lacking In Confidence, Johnny Manziel Says He’s Not Ready To Start Against Steelers Week 1
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has never come across as someone who is wanting in the self-esteem department. Which is his surprisingly candid statement at the team’s final training camp practice over the weekend came as such a shock.
“I don’t look at it that I was drafted to come in Day 1 and save the franchise,” Manziel said, noting that learning an NFL offense is a process and that he has only played one game. Then he confessed the one thing no Browns fan ever wants to hear, although it’s a reality they’re quite familiar with.
“I’m not ready for Pittsburgh [Steelers] right now,” a suddenly (and confusingly) humble Manziel admitted.
The Browns-Steelers rivalry is one of the more one-sided rivalries in all of sports, with the Browns having one just twice against them in the last decade. Although they had a pretty good stretch against the Steelers back in the 50s and 60s. So there’s that.
Because it’s such a dramatic about face from Manziel, it’s hard to know what to make of it. Perhaps he really has been humbled by his experience thus far in the NFL—he’s definitely a much smaller fish in a much bigger pond compared to his days in College Station.
Of course he could just be learning to play the public relations game better. Manziel may be arrogant, but he’s not stupid. Since the draft he’s been the subject of many unflattering national headlines—becoming a one-man traveling circus isn’t the best route to early professional success at the quarterback position.
Whether he has legitimately turned over a new leaf or has gotten better at telling people what they want to hear, it’s probably still a step in the right direction for Manziel either way. His over the top bravado has brought mountains of negative attention in recent months.
And besides, when has starting against the Steelers ever proved a good thing in the career of a Browns rookie quarterback anyway?