The attention drafting Johnny Manziel (pictured) has brought to the Cleveland Browns is okay with cornerback Joe Haden.
When the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Johnny Manziel with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft last Thursday night, cornerback Joe Haden "was hyped" about the decision to bring in the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M.
Although adding Manziel will come with national attention because of his "Johnny Football" persona, Haden views him as a competitor first and celebrity second.
"I like Manziel," Haden said Wednesday. "You know me. I'm a little bit on the flashy side, and I like that about him. I like that he has a personality, and it is what it is. It doesn't matter. That's cool. That's just what happens when you win. If we start winning, we'll have that regardless.
While Manziel brings added attention, Haden feels that would come when the Browns turn around their fortunes, which he expects will come through competition, specifically at the quarterback position between Manziel and Hoyer.
"There's going to be competition, and I like it," Haden said. "You get more attention here you get more people watching the Browns. All we've got to do now is make noise and everybody's going to look good."
"If Johnny Manziel is playing better than Hoyer, then he'll be out there. He'll be the leader, but if he's not, then Hoyer will be our guy. The thing is, when you get to this level, it doesn't really matter how much people hype you, how much people talk about you. It's what you do on the field."
Earlier in the week, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam declared Manziel the backup quarterback, something Haden believes his new teammate will not take lightly. He expects Manziel to compete to win the starting quarterback job away from Hoyer, who is said to be ahead of schedule in his rehab from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
"I know for a fact though, just being a competitor, once you get to that level and you're playing like a backup quarterback, I don't think he's going to try to do that," Haden said. "I think he's going to come out here, and I think it just takes a little bit of pressure off him. At the end of the day, Manziel is going to be Manziel when he gets out on the field.
"I think that's what's going to show and the same thing with Hoyer. He's not giving up the spot. I'm honestly happy because you have Hoyer that wants to be a quarterback. You have Manziel with all the hype, but when you're on the field, everybody's going to see what's going on. It's not like anybody's given free spots. You have to earn it. You have to win it. Same thing with (cornerback) Justin Gilbert. He's a really high draft pick. When I came in, a high draft pick, I didn't start until Week Eight, and that was all good because I wasn't ready."
During his Heisman Trophy-winning freshman season, Manziel threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns against nine interceptions. Despite being sacked 22 times, Manziel stood in the pocket long enough to complete 295 of 434 attempts.
Then, as a follow-up to his Heisman campaign, Manziel completed 300 passes for 4,114 yards with 37 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and was sacked only 19 times in leading the Aggies to nine wins last fall.
"It's unpredictable," second-year Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo said of Manziel's style of play. "We (Louisiana State) played him coming off of a Louisiana Tech game the week before, and he ran down the sideline. He didn't scare us, but we were like, 'Oh yeah. We can't let that guy get out of the pocket.' We contained him. We got some sacks on him. We won the game, but he made plays.
"You never know where he's going to be. There were times where we had hands on him, and he slipped away. You've seen the film. You've seen the highlights. It was a lot of highlights. He's a highlight reel. Any given game, he can make those plays, and that's exciting for us as a team."