JOHNNY MANZIEL PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT 7-31-14

On how he’s progressed this week:

“Some ups and downs. I don’t think that I have it figured out by any means, but it’s training camp; some of the things we’re going over for the first time or we briefly went over through OTAs. Getting the reps on the field, seeing it and really just learning as I go on. It’s a progress. It’s really reverse the playbook right now, just getting reps and getting comfortable with it. That’s what you have to do. You know it, but until you really get comfortable with all of the stuff, it’s’ still a struggle.”

On if it will be more natural for him in game situations:

“For me, I’ve been better in game situations than I feel that I have in practice, but I have to come out here and get better at the plays and get better at the reps that I’m getting. That’s my main thing, just keep getting better, and when it’s time to go out and play football, then it’s time to play football.”

On being upset that he hasn’t gotten reps with the first team:

“No, not at all.”

On his competitive nature and today’s goal-line session for the orange jerseys:

“It’s a competition that Coach Pett (Head Coach Mike Pettine) obviously threw in to get spirits live at the end of practice and to get people energized and bring a competition factor to it because we sit out there and go against each other all day, and then when it’s time to go, there’s another level that it gets to. Right now, we’re 0-2, but we’re striving to change that. Offensively, we have to execute, run our plays and do what we need to do get the ball in the end zone or get the ball where we need to win the competition.”

On if practices are difficult due to his competitive nature and not being able to let loose:

“No, practice is time to get better and hone in on your craft. There will be times in games and situations in games where things break down, and obviously it’s not practice so there aren’t coaches on the field. It’ll be a lot different, but practice is what it is, and we have to get better.”

On if offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s comments that neither QB is in the lead are encouraging:

“He’s the coach so what coach Shanahan (says) goes. I don’t know if it’s necessarily encouraging, but I’m not worried about one or the other being ahead or anything. Right now, it’s me making sure I know what I need to know to get out here, execute and run the offense and not have any mistakes. Once I go through a couple of days with no mental errors or getting to where I need to be every single time, then I’ll feel a lot better. Nothing that really one ahead of the other, who’s here, who’s there, that’s not really on my mind at all right now. It’s me versus the playbook, and there’s nothing else. Got to know the stuff to even be able to come out here and execute everything.”

On why the offense has seemed to struggle during practice, and if learning the playbook contributes to it:

“Specifically with my group? I’m a rookie. I don’t have all of this stuff figured out. I don’t know the ins and outs and every little nook and cranny. Sometimes there’s a little twist on a play, and you can go in and forget to say it in the huddle, and from that, it changes the whole dynamic. Some of those times, some of the plays I’ve ran for the first time and really gone back into it. We run them again and just make sure not to make the same mistakes twice. It’s a process for me. It’s not something that I should just come in here and naturally because I played well in college just know how to run this offense. It’s a complete 180 [degrees] 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 in terms of terminology, routes and being under center a lot more. It’s not something that I can’t handle; it’s not something that I’m not going to continue to strive and work for to try and get better at.”

On types of plays that he excels and struggles with:

“I can tell that I’m a lot more comfortable and familiar with Day 1 and Day 2 install stuff just based off of we’ve done that a couple more times than we’ve done stuff toward the back end of the install. The things that we’ve put in first and got to come around three or four times of doing it, obviously, I’m going to be a lot more comfortable with that. The things in the early stages, I’m obviously more comfortable. Getting in shotgun on third down obviously is just a comfort zone for me, but I’m not saying that I’m not comfortable under center or anything like that. Obviously, it’s what I‘ve been used to for the couple years, and really, that’s where I’m at right now.”

On if it’s true that the Aggies didn’t really have a ‘true playbook’ at Texas A&M and how it affects his adjustment:

“It’s definitely a bigger playbook. We had installs and the same stuff at A&M that we do now. It’s just one play can be this big [holds hands up measuring distance] and then be this big [holds hands further apart] in our playbook now with tags. One little tag can change the whole dynamic. It’s just different. That’s really all it is. It’s just different – different wordage and different verbiage than what I’m used to.”

On if he can win the starting QB job:

“Right now, I’m not really even concerned with that. I’m just concerned with making sure I lead my group, try to get in there and get more comfortable with these guys. Everything else will take care of itself. Whatever the case may be, I want to be a team player and a guy that can help this team get better, whether it’s not playing this year or playing this year. Whatever the situation may be, I’m about this team and I want what’s best for this team.”

On his relationship with QB Brian Hoyer:

“It’s good. We have a very friendly, very fun quarterback room. Brian, I’m obviously learning from him. He’s a guy who was in a system that demands a lot in New England. He’s a very intelligent guy. He knows his stuff really well. You can tell that he’s a professional and he’s been doing this for a while. For me, it’s encouraging to have a guy like that in the room, him and (QB) Tyler (Thigpen). Both have been in different systems and know how to adapt and how to go through training camp. This is my first time, obviously. I’m not used to this amount of length during the day of being up here, all the film, all the stuff so it’s different. To have Brian and Tyler in there has been really nice. My and Brian’s relationship has been just as normal as everybody else’s in the room. I don’t feel any tension or anything like that. He’s helped me in situations, and I’m trying to learn from him.”

On if he’s picked Hoyer’s brain and how receptive Hoyer to that:

“I think I pick his brain more by just seeing him get on the board. When he asks questions, it’s always better for me to take reps even when I’m not in. Whenever he’s asking a question – why he saw this, this and this – I can learn just from being in the room and just hearing what he says and the type of questions he’s asking.”

On if it’s asking too much for him to be ready to play Week 1:

“I think I’ll play whenever these coaches decide that I’m ready. I don’t think there’s any rush. For me, it’s whenever Coach (Mike) Pettine, (offensive coordinator) Coach (Kyle) Shanahan decide that. I don’t think they ever want to throw me into a situation that I’m not ready for or something that I can’t handle. I don’t know if they drafted me necessarily thinking that I should come in and start week one. I think they wanted to see where I’m at and see how I progress, and hopefully, they’re happy with how I’m progressing. If not, then obviously I need to take it upon myself to step my game up and continue to learn the stuff at a more rapid pace.”

On how much freedom he’ll have to run and do what he wants in scrimmages and games:

“I think I’m going to go through and I’m not going to have a lot of freedom. I think that I’m going to go through, go run the plays that I’m called and checks that we can do that are allowed within our offense, and then, if something’s not there, if something breaks down, then I think I’ll be able to do what I did in college a little bit and be smart about it. Obviously, in preseason games the goal is to move the ball down the field at all costs, and obviously, try to play within the offense, and then when things break down, that’s obviously where I’ve been good in the past. I think it will just come natural. It’s just go out and play football and try to execute the offense.”

On if he’s learned anything about Hoyer that’s surprised him:

“Coming in, I didn’t know much about him at all. I just kind of knew who he was. I got to watch him play pretty well in the games that he played last year, just briefly. I didn’t really know a lot about him. I knew he’d been in the league for a little while and he was a veteran. I didn’t have any preconceived thought or anything about Brian. When I got a chance to come in and meet him, he’s been great towards me, he’s been a great teammate and I’m just continuing to learn from him.”

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