BEREA, Ohio -- During a recent radio interview, Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains revealed that upon receiving a text message from former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, owner Jimmy Haslam said the team needed to go and get him.
After the Browns finished their rookie mini-camp practice on Saturday, both Manziel and head coach Mike Pettine addressed the situation.
"I felt like I had a good relationship with Coach Loggains, and he was probably one of the few people to text me while the draft was going on," Manziel said. "He let me know that there had been opportunities to try and get me at an earlier slot.
"We were where we were, around 20 or something. This was a place I felt comfortable with. I liked Coach (Kyle) Shanahan, liked the situation here, so I wanted to come here. If they wanted to take me and were trying to get me earlier, I said, 'Let's do it.'"
Pettine confirmed the text message exchange did happen, and that everyone in the organization was excited to draft Manziel.
"The story itself, the text message absolutely did happen because in the draft room, when I got it, I questioned Dowell as to whether he made the text up himself in order to get us to turn the card in," Pettine said with a wry smile. "As the round continued to progress, one of the guys went that was getting close to the Eagles' pick, when we knew that there was a pretty good chance that we were going to be able to jump up and take that spot.
"Then, the other player went, and we knew that quarterback was a position that we were targeting and that Johnny was our top quarterback on the board. There was some excitement in the room because we felt that we were close to getting him. When Dowell sent me the text that he wanted to come to Cleveland, I think that it just really added to the excitement in the room and we were fired up to turn the card in."
Manziel sent the text because he felt like Cleveland, with the desire to win that he saw from owner Jimmy Haslam, general manager Ray Farmer and Pettine on his pre-draft visit, as well as the comfort factor he found with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, was a good fit for him.
"This is a place I wanted to be," Manziel said. "I didn't want to come in and just be mediocre. To have success, you need to come in and you need to do some good things. That's more what I was talking about, than coming in and dominating as a rookie. It wasn't that talk at all. It was coming in, and trying to win some games if I'm going to be here and if I get the opportunity to play.
"I think it's a great opportunity for me. From when I came here on my visit, from Mr. Haslam to Ray Farmer to Coach Pettine, Coach Shanahan, Coach Loggains, all the way down, people wanted to win here, and you got a sense of that.
"They're tired of losing, tired of not having success. The team had pieces. The team was better than last year. You have Pro Bowlers on the field. You have guys that are playing a lot better and playing a lot harder. They're tired of losing as well. If you take that attitude, mix some right pieces into the puzzle, you have a chance for success."