Johnny Manziel said earlier in the week that it would be unfair if the Cleveland Browns gave up on him after just seven quarters of play in his rookie season. Coach Mike Pettine agrees.
The team’s coach told ESPN.com that the rookie was right on the money in his statement that they need to see more of his play before making a long-term evaluation. He also said that any narrative that Manziel has played his way out of favor with the team comes from outside of the franchise… and is untrue.
During his rookie campaign, Manziel has completed just 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown rush in two starts, a relief appearance at Buffalo and one incomplete pass early in the season. He’s since suffered a hamstring injury and will sit out the Browns’ season finale.
“He’s a player on our roster,” Pettine tells ESPN. “He’ll have the chance to compete.”
During an interview with local media this week, Manziel admitted that he had taken the rookie learning curve seriously enough… calling it a “year of growing up.”
“It’s been a year of growing up for me,” Manziel said. “It’s a job for me now. I have to take it a lot more seriously than maybe I did at first.”
Pettine called Manziel’s comments both concerning and encouraging, saying that although rookies come into the league not completely ready, the Browns want their players prepared.