Don't Believe the Hype

Despite what you've read or seen, Johnny Manziel's first few weeks with the Cleveland Browns have not been spent partying every day or among third-stringers. It's quite the contrary, actually.

Plenty of misconception surrounds quarterback Johnny Manziel. From the impression the Browns are attempting to protect and secure him from the media, to his Vegas trip and practice development, the Browns have been treating the young QB like any other player.

When Manziel notified the team he was going to Vegas (which he didn't have to do), the Browns told him to have fun, be back for Tuesday practice and watch out for those looking to take advantage of him and his presence.

The media continues to make a big deal out of Manziel wanting to be a young guy, enjoying his youth and popularity, claiming he only places himself in bad situations and cannot be focusing on football -- during his off-time.

Actually the story is quite the contrary.

Manziel has spent as much time if not more within the confines of the Browns Berea, Ohio training complex. The rookie spends an extraordinary amount of time watching film, memorizing the playbook and picking the brain of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterback coach Dowell Loggains.

The on-field Manziel of today is a far cry from the player that made his way to Cleveland immediately following the NFL draft.

Throwing ill-advised passes have slowed. Making solid reads have improved. Understanding the concepts of the offense has drastically improved and his teammates are good with him.

Manziel, especially early in the OTA's would bounce and look away from the play quickly, rather than letting the play develop. In subsequent sessions, Manziel is learning to trust the play and where to go with the ball when the play breaks down.

To no surprise of the Browns staff, Manziel is showing the ability to drive the ball down field and has been vastly improved in throwing into tight windows.

While the rookie will, at times, throw the ball up, he has been more reserved in this aspect and learning to trust the system and players around him.

The Browns staff has been fascinated with Manziel's ability to make plays on the run. Shanahan has stated he has never had a QB as agile and accurate as Manziel.

At the present, Manziel is a work in process under center. He appeared and performed uncomfortably under center in the early sessions of the OTA's, but has been progressing under center and is getting away from center much quicker.

Media continues to mislead the fans with their reporting of Manziel on the practice field and his status on the depth chart.

Manziel has taken reps with the first, second and third team offenses. Manziel continues to take reps with ALL three units and will continue to do so throughout the practice sessions -- leading up to training camp.

Shanahan has Manziel, along with Tyler Thigpen and Connor Shaw working with the groups to work on specific facets of the offense, as well as developing a sense of relationship with each of the units.

Right now, Manziel is No. 3 on the depth chart and will be elevated prior to training camp, but the staff sees no reason at this time to specify roles. They want to see each quarterback working in multiple looks, with various talent, which is another method to gauge talent other than the quarterback's, and determine whether a quarterback and wide receiver, for example, have a special bond on the playing field.


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