Manziel Training Camp transcript

From his off-season activities, to the Browns QB job and his buddy LeBron, Johnny Manziel is ready for some football.

“I’m very excited to be back in Cleveland, be back with the teammates, the coaches and just being in the environment. I think everybody’s ready to get back to football and get back to what we all love doing.

“Second, to just save you guys a lot of time, (Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine and (GM) Ray Farmer and I have really talked about a lot of things that have transpired over the course of the offseason. For me, my main thing is the people in this building – my teammates, the coaching staff and the higher-ups in this organization – we’ve all been on the same page. We’ve all been good and are very eager to be moving forward. At the end of the day, I made some rookie mistakes – there are some things I wish I could have gone back and done a little differently – but I’m continuing to move forward and try and represent this organization and this team in a positive manner, in a positive light.

“I’m just very excited to be back in camp, and it’s football 24/7. That’s what I love doing. It’s what I live for, and it’s what my job is. For me, I’m very excited to get back and can’t wait to get this thing underway.”

On specific situations that transpired this offseason:

“I think I just spoke on that a little bit. I’ve talked about that with Coach Pettine; I’ve talked about it with Ray Farmer and the people that I need to talk about that with. Moving forward, they’re good with everything and I’ve told them everything I need to. Everything’s been good.”

On going out at night and being caught on camera:

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me going out and having a nightlife and having a social life. I am 21 years old, and I do like going out. It was the offseason. It’s free time for us, and if I want to go out and hang out with my friends or go to nightclubs or do things like that, then I think that’s within my rights to be doing that. I think there are other guys throughout the league that are doing that. I’m not trying to compare myself to anybody else, but I think that’s within my rights to be doing that.”

On having enough time at camp to win the starting QB job:

“I think Coach Pettine and the staff here have called this an open competition, and I believe that it is. I’m just trying to get in here every day and try to be better as a player, as a teammate, really hone in on my craft and try and make this football team as good as I can. Whatever my role is on this team, I think that will be decided with play within these next few weeks. At the end of the day, what I want is what’s best for this team, what’s best for this organization because this is about the Cleveland Browns. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about (QB) Brian (Hoyer). This isn’t about just the quarterback position. It takes 22 positions on the team to make this whole thing work and come together so it’s not just about us.”

On Coach Pettine’s comment that his biggest challenge will be the playbook:

“I interpret it exactly the way he said it. It’s not two short little plays anymore. You have a lot to a play call. You have a lot to read. You have a lot of different things that weren’t asked of me at (Texas) A&M. You have to deal with protections. You have to deal with certain things. Moving forward, I have to adapt to that. I have to get better and continue to learn the game of football more and more. I’m not sitting up here saying that I know everything or that I’m even close to perfecting this thing. I’m still a young guy, a young player, and there’s a lot for me to learn and a lot for me to do moving forward.”

On feeling more confident:

“As time goes on I absolutely feel better day in and day out, continuing to go over things. Getting back into our day one installs, day two installs, going over things again and again, you get better as time goes on. There will be times when I make mistakes throughout this camp. That’s a given. That’s going to happen. I know that and I’m not worried about that. It’s just trying to learn from those mistakes and getting better as a quarterback moving forward.”

On if offseason situations have hurt him in potentially earning the starting quarterback position:

“I don’t believe so. I think there are definitely things that I can do moving forward to help me better act as a professional. At the same time, I’m still learning how to do that, still getting used to this role, still getting used to this league and still learning how to be a pro football player. I’m not in college anymore. There are things that I need to do better. That’s just part of being a professional, and hopefully with time and with going through the season and as time goes on, I’ll get better doing that.”

On his focus being to get better or to start at Pittsburgh Week 1:

“I’m absolutely a very competitive person and I’m going to come out here every day and compete. I’m not going to shy down from competition or anybody that really tests me, but at the same time, I’m worried about myself getting better as a football player, getting better at drops, throwing with accuracy, throwing on the run, doing everything and just really commanding the huddle, letting these guys see me on the field more and more. There’s a lot that comes with being a rookie. I haven’t been here very long so there’s a lot that goes into all that.”

On what kind of greeting he expects from the fans:

“The fans have been incredible. From the day that I got drafted in New York, they’ve been incredible. Up until now, the buzz in this city about sports in general, not just about football, but you look at basketball now, the Indians are playing well, but especially for the Browns, this state, this town has been great for us. It’s been great to me personally.”

On if he feels like the underdog in the competition for starting quarterback, given Hoyer is from Cleveland:

“No, I don’t feel like that. Not at all.”

On if he’s had any conversations with Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James since he made the decision to join the Cleveland Cavaliers and his reaction to James playing in Cleveland:

“Obviously, I think it’s great for this area. I think it’s great for this city. I think it’s great for the Cavs. I think it’s great for me. He’s obviously a very good friend of mine. Now moving forward, he’s pretty much a business partner of mine. We’ve exchanged texts back and forth. Him being in the area, him being down the road definitely excites me. It’s going to be awesome getting to go to Cavs games and watching the best basketball player in the world play. I’m very excited and I’m really excited that he can watch us play and be involved with this program again like he was before. More than anything, I’m happy for him and his family and being able to come back home, where obviously he loves it here.”

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