Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will be ready to play if, and when, the time comes this season.
BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was "disappointed" when he was unable to beat out veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting job for the regular-season opener at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 7.
However, that will not deter Manziel from preparing for his opportunity to play if, and when, it should come.
"For me, sitting back, there was a time when I was at (Texas) A&M, I had to sit there and redshirt," Manziel said after Wednesday's practice. "It was hard and it was frustrating, but at the same time, I got a lot better in that year-and-a-half that I had there to sit and learn and watch. Whenever my number is called, whenever it's my time, I'll be ready.
"I think I need to earn everything. For me to get in, I need to earn it. I need to earn my place in this offense if there is a place for me in that with whatever packages could come down the road, but I need to earn everything. Nothing should be given to me, and I completely understand that. I need to continue to come in here every day, day-in and day-out and get better, get around these guys and continue to let them know who I am and how I am. That's all I can really do."
Manziel completed 14 of 27 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown without an interception, and rushed for another 26 yards on seven carries through the Browns' first two preseason games, but he believes it was what did not happen against Washington on Monday that cost him the most.
Manziel completed seven of 16 attempts for 65 yards with a touchdown, but took three sacks, and was unable to move the football consistently in the first half of play.
"I feel like if I would've come out and played better, it would've been a different outcome," Manziel said. "I don't think I've played terrible, but I didn't do anything to really jump off the page. I think I made strides and got better throughout training camp, and that's what I wanted to do. It's disappointing, but at the same time, I want what's best for this team moving forward, and I'm going to continue to come out here every day and give it my all and continue to get better as a quarterback. That's all I can do.
"I need to continue to get ready to play whenever that is. I wouldn't say there was anger. There's no reason to be angry. It was a fair chance on both sides, and they went with who they felt was right for the first week. For me, I know football's a game of crazy things. Anything can happen, so I need to continue to practice and perform like I'd be playing."
Although Manziel, who carried a 20-6 record in two years at Texas A&M, was the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy, as well as the Davey O'Brien and Manning awards, before he became the first player in Southeastern Conference history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for another 1,000 in a single season (2012), he admitted that the finish far exceeded the start.
And that is exactly what he is focused on doing now that the quarterback competition with Hoyer has come to an end.
"It's exactly what I thought it would be," Manziel said of the transition to the NFL. "I knew it would be a big step. I obviously didn't know exactly what it would entail, but I knew it would be a big jump for me and a big learning process. The thing is, people have really followed me since I established myself at A&M. If people would've seen me my first year-and-a-half at A&M, they would've said, 'No way this kid can get to where I'm at today.'
"That's what people don't understand. The first year-and-a-half at A&M, I was terrible, terrible. I would've never gotten to this point if I played like I did when I was at A&M that first year-and-a-half. I just continued to try and get better, learn the playbook, got more comfortable around everybody, around the coaches, the system, and then, good things happened for me.
"I think it shows that I need to get better and I need to try and speed that process up as much as I can. The season's getting here, so you never know when your number can be called throughout the season, and for me, I just know I need to continue to learn, continue to adapt to everything that's thrown my way."
While Manziel admits his play on the field needs to improve, he does not plan to slow down his off-the-field activities.
"I'll learn how a season goes," Manziel said. "I'll learn how things go. Now, next time I come into training camp, I won't be surprised by it. Next time I come into OTAs (organized team activities), I won't be surprised by it, but I wouldn't go back from the point after the draft to now and change a single thing.
"I'm going to continue to live my life and the offseason is the offseason. I'm going to travel places. I'm going to go places. I'm going to do things, and that's going to have no effect. Obviously, I need to do it in the proper way, but I'm still going to continue to have fun in my life and continue to live my life, and I don't think any of that really slowed me in this competition. I think more than anything, if you come out and play well, it makes the decision a lot easier. If you don't, it clouds it up and what happened, happened."