Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel admits to having "some ups and downs" of learning the playbook.
BEREA, Ohio -- In the last three months, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has gone from college star to NFL rookie, and as part of the transition, he has had to learn how to adjust to the professional game.
After five days of practice in his first professional training camp, three of which have been in full pads, Manziel is going through what he referred to as "some ups and downs."
"I don't think I have it figured out by any means, but it's training camp," Manziel said after Thursday's practice. "Some of this stuff we're going over for the first time, and we went over in OTAs, so getting the reps on the field and seeing it and really just learning as I go on, it's a progress. It's really me versus the playbook right now.
"It's getting the reps and getting comfortable. That's what you have to do. You can know it, but until you really get comfortable with all the stuff, it's still a struggle."
Part of that "struggle" comes with learning the intricacies of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme.
"I don't know the ins and outs and every little nook and cranny, and sometimes, there's a little twist on a play and you can go in there and forget to say it in the huddle and from that, it changes the whole dynamic," Manziel said. "Some of these times, these plays I've run for the first time and we go back into it and run it again just to make sure we don't make the same mistakes twice, but it's a process for me.
"It's not something that I should just come in here and naturally (know) because I played well in college. I should just know how to run this offense. It's a complete 180 from everything that I've been used to, and it's going to take time. It's a process coming from a spread, air-raid system in college to a pro style system that's very unfamiliar with me as far as terminology and routes and being under center a lot more, but it's not something that I can't handle and it's not something that I'm going to continue to strive and work for and try to get better at."
Although still learning the offense, Manziel said he is "a lot more comfortable with the day one and day two installs" because he has been able to run them multiple times.
"Practice is done to get better and to hone in on your craft, and there will be times in games and situations in games where things break down," Manziel said. "Obviously, it's not practice and there's coaches on the field and it will be a lot different, but practice is what it is and we have to get better.
"I'm worried about me making sure I know what I need to know to get out here and execute and run the offense and not have any mistakes. Once I go through a couple of days with non-mental errors or getting where I need to be every, single time, then I'll feel a lot better."
While Manziel feels he has a lot of work to do before completely learning the Browns' offensive scheme, he may be getting a chance to run it with the first-team squad "sooner rather than later," according to coach Mike Pettine.
"We'll start to, even with the other positions, start to mix the group up some," Pettine said. "He's done a nice job with it. I would even say that he's slightly ahead of where we thought he would be mentally."