Taking an athlete in the draft who already has an established name is difficult for teams. They must somehow strike a balance between the player’s ego and keeping in mind that, famous or not, he’s still a rookie. The Cleveland Browns took on that challenge when they traded up to draft Johnny Manziel. Given his success at Texas A&M along with his crazed fan following, it would’ve been easy to ride the wave, especially for a down-on-their-luck franchise like Cleveland. They could’ve handed him the reins right off the bat let the horse ride where it may. Instead the Browns front office and coaches refused that approach, instead stating right off the bat that Manziel was little more than another backup quarterback for the time being until he proved others.
Several analysts, including Mike Mayock of NFL Network were quick to applaud this approach. Mayock said plainly that he was “happy they didn’t hand it to him. The kid has had too much handed to him in life already. Let him work for something there.”
Indeed Johnny Manziel has never really had to fight for a job. That is how gifted an athlete he is, but the Cleveland Browns are not going to let him steer their franchise until he’s ready. If that means sticking with Brian Hoyer for the time being, they’re ready to take that risk. Hoyer of course is rehabbing from a torn ACL so he doesn’t exactly look like the most able competition despite the fact he won three games for the Browns last year. Still, he more than anybody knows the work it takes to succeed in the NFL and Cleveland is hoping he will teach that to their new rookie quarterback. How Manziel responds in the coming months will paint a very interesting picture for the future in the short and long-term.