Kyle Shanahan: Johnny Manziel's 'a great guy'


Kyle Shanahan refuses to toss Johnny Football under the bus.

The new Falcons offensive coordinator on Tuesday spoke positively about the lone season he spent with Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

"Johnny's a great guy and I think he does get a little bit of a bad rep with that, because Johnny worked very hard for me," Shanahan said, per "I really enjoyed coaching him."

Said Shanahan: "I don't know what he's going through, but I think I'm confident Johnny will work it all out. And I think he has a chance to have a good future."

Shanahan wouldn't clarify what led him to part ways with the Browns after just one season. He reportedly was miffed "when a high-ranking personnel member texted from the press box to the sidelines about play calls," per The Plain Dealer. The league's investigation into reported allegations of Browns general manager Ray Farmer sending those texts during games is ongoing. 

"You make some tough decisions, and Cleveland obviously was a tough decision for me," Shanahan said. "Nobody likes to be in the media. I'd rather just hide in the hole and never have to do this, ever. But it's part of the business and I understand that. But you can't make decisions just based off of that.

"You've got to make decisions of what you think is best for you, what's best for your family. If you believe it's right, then you live with it. And you live with the consequences and you hope tough decisions end up working out."

His departure left the Browns scrambling for a new play-caller, but Shanahan has landed on his feet with a quarterback room anchored by franchise arm Matt Ryan.

"The fact that it's led me to Atlanta and I'm in this situation right now," said Shanahan, "I couldn't be any happier."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the free-agent quarterback market and discusses Peyton Manning's future. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.