Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel worked his way back onto the field after a two-game benching due to lying to coaches about partying during the team’s bye week, and he appears to have won over his teammates as well as the coaching staff.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer spoke to tight end Gary Barnidge and head coach Mike Pettine, both of whom gave their quarterback full support.
“I definitely think he is starting to see it,” Barnidge said. “It has shown in the way he is playing on the field, in practice and in the game and everything else. He’s just going to keep learning. He’s a young guy. He is going to keep learning and keep maturing as he gets older. That is a credit to him, too. We are going to be behind him no matter what, too.”
“The reason [his teammates are standing by him] is because most of the time they spend with him, the vast majority is in the building. They see what we all see,” Pettine added. “Here’s a guy that shows up to work every day excited. He puts in his preparation so he grinds in the meeting room. He asks great questions. He brings up good points. Guys respect that. They can tell when he talks that he’s getting into that information when he’s out of the building and it carries over onto the practice field.”
Manziel completed 21-of-31 passes for 270 yards with a touchdown and interception in Cleveland’s 24-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Granted, it was against the 49ers, but a win is a win and Manziel looked decent enough despite having some cobwebs to shake off.
The Browns have three games remaining against the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers and though Cleveland is likely to get shellacked by all three squads, Manziel can still win over critics by showing poise in the pocket and not crumbling under pressure.
Given how he completed 33 of 45 passes for 372 yards and a touchdown in a 30-9 loss to Pittsburgh last month, Manziel could easily still prove to impress in defeat.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports