"I don't think I'm ready for Pittsburgh right now," he said Saturday. "I've only played one game. The more and more you see it, the more you get familiar with it, I think the better it'll be. I think there's guys who have played in this league for a long time who can sit there, after years and years of playing game, and still don't have it all figured out.
"It's tricky stuff, but at the same time, we're doing stuff on offense to try and throw them off their guard as well."
(Sidebar: I'd like to highlight the "right now" portion of that quote.)
No rookie quarterback is ready after playing just 27 NFL snaps against backups in one preseason game.
Manziel believes he will be ready come Sept. 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- if he earns the right to make that start.
"Yeah. That's not saying that I'm not ready or I won't be ready; I don't want that taken out of context," he said when asked if he would be ready by Week 1. "It's just, right now, second preseason game, I'm not ready to go out and start Week 1 'cause there's a lot of time left until that point.
"For me, there's plenty of weeks left for me to learn, preseason games to see the speed, get adapted to the speed, and then, if I was the starter for Pittsburgh for Week 1, you have to be ready. You have to be ready for Week 1. It's the opening week of the season. It's a big game."
Some might believe the headline here is that Johnny Football is admitting he's not ready to start. In truth, the quintessential element we should distill from Manziel's comments is that he understands there's room to grow and he has a battle ahead of him.
For a young player so chastised for his bravado, to not view his most recent statement as tacit compliance to humility, for which any other young quarterback would be praised, is slanted.
Manziel admitted he has work to do to win the starting job over Brian Hoyer, and he believes he's on the path to being ready Sept. 7 if his name is called.
On Monday we will learn a bit more about how long that path will be between Manziel and the starting gig.