BROWNS – JOHNNY MANZIEL CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT

On watching 21 players be drafted ahead of him:

“I knew the TV part of it was going to come. I knew that would be part of it. For me, it was a little nerve-racking, but at the same time, I went into the situation telling myself that everything would happen for a reason, that I would land wherever I did tonight for a purpose. Whether I thought or knew the situation, I thought it would all work out for me, and I truly believe leaving here tonight that the situation did work out for me. I’m in a great place.”

Manziel Jersey - Commish

On what it’s like to constantly be critiqued and his response to critics:

“I’m used to that by now. In the two years that I’ve had in college, I think I’ve been very scrutinized and nitpicked, as far as my game goes. For me, the one thing I’d like to say is I improved from my first year playing to my second. I got better. All I’m trying to do throughout these next few years is continue to get better and hone in on my skills and become a better player. I think if I do that, I can be really good.”

 

On his conversations with the Browns and if he thought he would be drafted by them:

“I thought that going into it. Also, at the same time, I didn’t really know what all was going to happen or what all was going on. I figured it could be a potential landing spot. I felt like I had a good relationship with (Browns quarterbacks) coach (Dowell) Loggains and (Browns offensive coordinator) coach (Kyle) Shanahan and had a good talk with (Browns Owner) Mr. (Jimmy) Haslam, as well. From top to bottom, I felt like I had good relationships with everyone.”

 

On playing with a chip on his shoulder, and being picked 22nd overall adding to it:

“I believe so. At the same time, I’ve accomplished a dream of mine, being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. What a blessing, what an honor it is. At the same time, there are a lot of teams that did pass me up. Just like I think with anybody in this draft that a team didn’t select them that they thought they might go to or thought that there was a possibility, you do grow a little bit of a chip. For me, just continue to try and get better and become a good football player.”

 

On bringing to Cleveland an attitude to make others regret that they didn’t select him:

“I’m going to take a very aggressive mindset into it. I’m going to work extremely hard to get what I want, and I know what that is. I want to win, and I want to be successful. The amount of time I put in and the heart I put into this, which I know I’m capable of doing, will tell the tale.”

 

On how his style of play and mobility will translate in Cleveland and how excited he is to come to the Dawg Pound:

“I’m very excited to be a part of Cleveland and the Dawg Pound and the city and the love they have for the Browns. My style of play is obviously pretty exciting, and I will continue to try to get better; but I feel like the forces and everything that’s combining in Cleveland, I feel like we can be successful. More than anything, we want to win games.”

 

On if it’s possible for the Browns to win now and if can be the catalyst now:

“I believe it’s a team game. There are a lot of factors that play into everything. I feel like in my situation coming in, whatever’s best for the team, I’m going to do and try to contribute in any way I can. I know from the top, the front office to everybody in the building when I was there, they wanted nothing more than to win and be successful, and I feel like I match that attitude.”

 

On being drafted on the 50th year anniversary of the Browns’ last championship:

“I think it’s really cool. Obviously, championships are what every single team in the league strives for. I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say this year we’re going to win a Super Bowl or anything like that, but we’re going to be competitive and try to win as many games as we can and put our team in the best position possible to move as far as we can. I feel like there are a lot of really good forces already on the team, from receiver to defense, and you look at a defensive coach being hired that has had a lot of success. I feel like it’s a good combination and there is success to be had in the future.”

 

On having to beat out QB Brian Hoyer to become the starting quarterback:

“I don’t go into it like that. Brian obviously is a very good player who I really do respect, and he’s a teammate of mine now. I’m going in to try and show these guys that I’m obviously here to compete and see what I bring to the table. Obviously, that’s the coaches decision, and whatever happens in that regard will happen. That’s a teammate of mine, a guy who played extremely well last year until unfortunately he was sidelined by an injury. I’m just going to go in and get a chance to meet Brian and work with him. We’ll be together a lot. That’s a teammate of mine.”

 

On why it feels right to him to have been selected by the Browns:

“You can even say that to yourself, ‘Does it feel right, Johnny Manziel being in Cleveland with the Browns?’ There’s a lot of excitement. Obviously, the team really wants to win and they want to win now. I’ve been a winner everywhere that I’ve been. Whatever the situation may be, I’m going to work extremely hard to put myself in the best position to continue that trend of being a winner. I’m ready to work extremely hard. For me, I say that knowing there’s a higher power out there that placed me in the situation because today was out of my control. I hoped one team liked me, and it ended up being Cleveland.”

 

On Head Coach Mike Pettine’s comments about starting rookie quarterbacks and how to potentially make him ‘change his mind’:

“I think Coach Pettine knows what’s best for this team and what’s best for us moving into this year. Obviously, there is a gap for rookie quarterbacks to learn and grow and to get to the point where they need to be to play. That’s his decision, and for me, I’m going to showcase my skills and come to work every day with a smile on my face and work extremely hard to try and obviously play this year; but  if that’s not what’s meant to be, and that’s not what’s best for this team, then that’s the case.”

 

On his knowledge of the Browns history and recent results:

“Obviously, there have been some struggles, but for me, you look at teams around the league that have struggled and a couple years later, they’re in contention to do really good things, win playoff games and get to the playoffs. I feel like the pieces they had last year they were a better football team. You have a very good receiver; you have a great offensive line. You have good weapons. You have a great tight end. You have a defense that’s really strong, and we also helped our team tonight, picking up a defensive player, as well, earlier in the round. I feel like there is opportunity there for us to grow and be better as a team.”

 

On if he feels his pocket passing is underrated by some evaluators:

“I feel like I got better this year and got more comfortable in the pocket. I’m growing as a quarterback and continuing to get better as a player. I’m not sitting here today saying I have all of the answers or I’m an all-world player or have it all figured out. For me, I know there’s room to grow, in the pocket and just get more comfortable in the pocket in general. There’s room for me to grow, and I’m looking forward to closing that gap with a great quarterbacks coach and a great offensive coordinator that can help me there.”

 

On if the Browns asked him several questions regarding off-field matters, and reassuring the team of his character:

“I think the Browns did a very good job of asking me their due-diligence questions and asking me and seeing what was out of the media or what was heard; what they heard was actually the truth. There was never a time where I lied or shied away from a question. For me, it was go into the situation and be very honest and be very upfront with them, and let my true character show and let them find out who I really am. I think that alleviated some concerns with them.”

 

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