John DeFilippo will not have a different playbook for Johnny Manziel. Everyone needs to learn his offense.
"Your main job as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL is to take all the gray area out," DeFilippo said Tuesday on WKNR-AM. "What does that mean? Well, you don't give him a lot of 'well if this happens you do this, or if this happens it's this, this, and this.' No. It's: Single safety middle? You're going here. It's pure progression, a middle-third read working high to low. You take out all that gray area."
DeFilippo is being looked at as a last-chance savior for last year's first-round pick. In two starts last year, Manziel barely completed half of his throws and did not throw a touchdown pass.
More concerning, of course, is what happened with Manziel off the field. He entered a treatment facility last month to work on his issues.
But DeFilippo has a solution for that as well, or at least he hinted at one on Tuesday.
During his first group meeting with all Cleveland's quarterback options, he's going to talk about what he expects emotionally from his signal-caller.
"It's truly a lifestyle to be an NFL quarterback," he said. "It's not just a job. It's all-consuming. You need to sleep, eat, do everything fast and just think about football all the time. The great ones have an obsession with it. You watch the Peyton Manning's ... those guys are obsessed with football. And you talk about quarterback lifestyle, in our first meeting, that's what we're going to talk about with those guys."
He added: "I think Johnny just needs experience playing the game at this level. I really do. Coming out of Texas A&M, I interviewed Johnny, I talked football with him. I know from a protection standpoint, from a route-structure standpoint, they were very limited at Texas A&M. Does that mean what they did was bad? Not whatsoever. But it's very different than what a quarterback is asked to do at the NFL level."
There's a lot to unpack here. Listening to DeFilippo talk about Manziel's collegiate offense on top of a much-needed lifestyle change outlines the major tasks ahead. In that same regard, though, we've never heard as calm and detailed an assessment of the problem by one of Manziel's coaches.
With all this work ahead, DeFilippo is at least sounding like the right man for the job.