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Johnny Chronicles: Johnny Manziel ready for the pressure


NEW YORK -- A daily draft-week look into the always unpredictable life of former Texas A&M -- and new Cleveland Browns -- quarterback Johnny Manziel:

Two up

1. On Friday, as the Cleveland Browns prepared to continue adding help through the draft, Johnny Football arrived in Cleveland to meet with local media. Of course, the question of the pressure he'll face as the club's perceived savior came up, and Manziel gave perhaps his best answer:

"I'm used to that. That's been my life for a while now. For me, the spotlight, expectations, everything that comes with that, I was used to that at (Texas) A&M and I think that will directly help me with what I'm getting into moving forward. The NFL and the way the league is and how big of a deal it is, it's bigger than I'm sure I know. We'll find out. I think that I've been prepared by the past. It'll help me moving forward."

The NFL stage will be new for sure, but keep in mind that Manziel's career as a starter at Texas A&M coincided with the school's first forage into the vaunted Southeastern Conference. The Aggies were expected to enter the SEC as middling junior members of college football's biggest, baddest circuit in 2012, and instead promptly dumped the No. 1 team in the nation on its home field in a Manziel-led upset of Alabama. He might not know NFL pressure, but in many ways, Manziel has been through as much college fire as anyone.

2. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport caught up with Browns veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, the man primarily standing between Johnny Football and a starting quarterback job in the NFL. Not surprisingly, Hoyer was unflinching.

Think Manziel will face pressure if he starts the season at quarterback? Imagine the pressure if it's Hoyer. The Dawg Pound will howl incessantly at the first sign of offensive troubles.

Two down

1. While there were plenty of smiles in Cleveland for the Manziel selection, the wait for Manziel had to have been painful. Will there be a chip on Manziel's shoulder entering the NFL? Yeah, you can bet on it. Columnist Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News wrote of all the clubs which had a chance, and passed. It's something Manziel won't forget anytime soon.

2. Advice comes from everywhere when it comes to the NFL draft. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam reportedly said he got an unsolicited opinion to draft Manziel from a homeless person in Cleveland recently. And while, of course, that influence would never have made it into the Browns' war room, for some reason it stuck with Haslam enough to make mention of it.

You can bet the guy who said it is a positive identification away from hero status in Cleveland.

Warner not sold

Much has been made about the off-the-field concerns tied to Manziel, but NFL Media analyst Kurt Warner, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV, isn't bothered by the quarterback's affinity for having a good time. Warner's Manziel concerns are related only to football.

"(Manziel) has a lot to learn about the quarterback position," Warner said Friday on NFL Network's "NFL Draft Kickoff".

The former Rams and Cardinals great is specifically concerned about how he'll perform in the pocket.

"I see a lot of issues," Warner said.


A line of 50 or so Browns fans lined up for Manziel No. 2 jerseys outside First Energy Stadium Friday morning, and a lot more called an order in by phone. According to, the club's in-house shop is having to get more Manziel jerseys made as quickly as possible to meet the demand.

Bottoms up in College Station

As one of 30 prospect guests of the NFL at Radio City Music Hall, Manziel couldn't be back in College Station to celebrate being a first-round draft pick Thursday night. But he was there in spirit.

Err, spirits.

Manziel pre-paid for a round of beers and a round of shots at his favorite College Station watering hole, Chimy's Cerveceria, according to Altogether, according to the bar's general manager, a Miller Lite and a Fireball shot for the house ran Manziel about two grand, to match his jersey No. 2.

King Johnny

In Thursday's edition of The Johnny Chronicles, we wondered aloud what Cleveland would look like with Manziel filling in for LeBron James as the town's iconic sports personality. Someone's already got an idea:


"I think I'm Johnny Manziel. I think Johnny Football is what's out there in the media. I accept it. I'm very accepting of it. At the same time, I know who I am. I'm Johnny Manziel from Texas." -- Manziel on the Johnny Football persona.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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