Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel's rookie season ended prematurely due to a hamstring injury suffered in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers. He struggled mightily in the approximately seven quarters of football he played in 2014 and had some pointed comments about those issues.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Manziel discussed several topics ranging from how the NFL differs from how he perceived it in college to his mindset moving forward.
Manziel led off by talking about the stark differences he's noticed in the NFL, via Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio:
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner followed up those comments by talking about how he plans to move on from this difficult season, via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan:
Mary Kay Cabot and Tom Reed of The Cleveland Plain Dealer provided two of the most enlightening Manziel comments, in which he admitted to perhaps not adjusting his mental state from Texas A&M to the NFL:
As for the critics ready to dismiss Manziel, the controversial quarterback offered this note about how little experience he has so far:
Leaving no doubt about how he feels about the Browns, Manziel made a point to say that Cleveland is the spot where he hopes to achieve success in the NFL moving forward:
Sigmund Bloom of FootballGuys.com provides his take on the path ahead for Manziel:
It's safe to say 2014 has been the most difficult and frustrating year Manziel has ever had playing football. It started off somewhat bumpy, as he fell to the No. 22 pick in the NFL draft, and seemed to keep spiraling from there.
The Browns named Brian Hoyer their starting quarterback coming out of preseason play and had success early with a 7-4 record, but back-to-back losses against Buffalo and Indianapolis prompted head coach Mike Pettine to give Manziel his first crack at starting in the NFL after Hoyer struggled in those games.
Unfortunately, Manziel's first start turned into a disaster. He went 10-of-18 for 80 yards and two interceptions. He didn't look any better against Carolina, going 3-of-8 for 32 yards before leaving with an injury.
Whether Manziel turns into a quality starting quarterback or not, it's too early to definitively judge him right now. He's 22 years old and doesn't even have two full games of experience under his belt. There's some maturing for him to do in the offseason, which he has openly acknowledged.
The fact that Manziel has already realized how difficult life in the NFL is, and that he plans to adjust his mindset moving forward, is a positive sign for the Browns. They may not be ready to name him their starter heading into 2015, but there's no doubt Johnny Football should have a legitimate shot to earn the job in preseason.