Johnny Football hits Cleveland

By The Sports NetworkMay 9, 2014 at 2:56 PM
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Johnny Manziel knows who he is, and the Cleveland Browns fans are getting to know him, too.

Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert met the Cleveland media on Friday, a day after the two were selected by the Browns in the first round in NFL Draft.

"I'm very excited to be here, very excited to be part of this organization," said Manziel at his introductory news conference. "I'm ready to get the ball rolling."

Manziel probably had the most interesting night in New York City during the first round of the draft. It was thought he might be a top-five pick, even at No. 4 by the Browns, who traded down to No. 9 and then up one spot and first selected Gilbert with the eighth overall choice.

As team after team bypassed Manziel, there was a possibility he would fall out of the first round completely. The Browns, though, then traded up from No. 26 and chose Manziel with the 22nd pick.

Manziel was a brilliant college player, accounting for 93 total touchdowns in 26 games for the Aggies. He was the first freshman to win the Heisman in 2012 and had a very strong 2013 campaign, but there was speculation that Manziel's game would not translate from college to the NFL.

He quickly dismissed those thoughts, but added that he has much to learn.

"There's a gap that I have to close, learning the offense and getting caught up to speed. I'm a rookie. I need to put in 'x' amount of time to be good and I firmly believe that (I will)," said Manziel on Friday.

Manziel's celebrity status was also questioned in the days entering the draft, but the talk of a circus atmosphere surrounding "Johnny Football" doesn't faze the 21-year-old Texas native.

"I think I'm Johnny Manziel. Johnny Football is what's in the media," he said. "I accept it. I know who I am, I'm Johnny Manziel. I don't let that weigh me down and I don't lose sleep over it."

It apparently helped Gilbert, who politely answered the few questions directed his way on Friday.

"I said that's a good thing he's with me, because that takes all the pressure off me," Gilbert quipped.

Manziel doesn't know if he will become the Browns' starting quarterback right away, saying he has very high goals, but no expectations.

"I am going to work really hard and learn from guys who have been in the league," Manziel remarked. "I'm very eager to be learning from them."

Quarterbacks currently on the Browns roster include Brian Hoyer, Tyler Thigpen and Vince Young.

While it's uncertain if Manziel will move to the top of the depth chart right away, the fans are apparently banking on it.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that No. 2 Browns jerseys are already being sold in the team's shop at First Energy Stadium and other reports indicate that the Browns have sold roughly 2,000 season tickets since Manziel was drafted on Thursday night.


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