Johnny Manziel says he wants to be ‘the guy’ next season
“Next season” being the key phrase.
Johnny Manziel sounded like a man resigned to his fate during his postgame press conference on Sunday. The Cleveland Browns quarterback, who left in the first half against the Carolina Panthers with a hamstring injury and did not return, spoke at length about improving in the offseason and coming back better next year.
He didn’t sound like a guy expecting to play in the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.
“If anything [the injury] makes me more hungry to work in this offseason and get with these guys and stay on top of this stuff and come back next year and come out and try to have some success early in the season and sustain that through a season,” Manziel said, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer.
There’s been no official word from the team, with coach Mike Pettine saying Sunday he didn’t yet know the severity of the injury.
Manziel struggled again in his second start, completing just 3 of 8 passes for 32 yards and rushing for only 3 yards. In almost six quarters with Manziel as the starter, the Browns’ offense had just three points.
Nevertheless, Manziel said he thinks the outing is something he can build on.
“A very positive thing for me to get in here with these guys and this week going through the walkthrough and going through everything I was a lot sharper and a lot more on top of this stuff, and I think these guys see me and see that I’m in the building really putting in a lot of work and I want to be the guy.”
If the injury does end up shelving Manziel next week, it means the Browns have just 12 possessions worth of tape from which to evaluate him and decide on their long-term quarterback future. With Brian Hoyer, who’s been struggling just as much, set to become a free agent, Cleveland has major offseason decisions to make.