Johnny Manziel’s workout with the Browns “was a mess”

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny Manziel

In what is a very Cleveland-heavy Monday Morning Quarterback from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, the long-time reporter reveals that Johnny Manziel’s workout with the Browns, just 19 days before the NFL Draft, was an absolute mess.

The Browns must have really loved the Manziel tape—because his workout with Cleveland brass 19 days before the draft was a mess. On Good Friday night, Browns coach Mike Pettine, GM Ray Farmer, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains went to dinner with Manziel and Burkhardt at a country club outside of College Station, near the Texas A&M campus. “We worked out 10 quarterbacks and ate with all with all of them,” Pettine said Saturday night. “That’s the only meal we didn’t pay for.” The workout was set for 8 a.m. Saturday morning, so the Clevelanders and Manziel could make it home comfortably for Easter. One problem: no receivers. So a high school buddy, Shanahan and Burkhardt—in jeans and sneakers—were the pass-catchers. After the workout, which included some clanks off Burkhardt’s hands, the agent said to Manziel: “I’ve seen you better.”

“I’d be better,” Manziel said with a laugh, “if you could catch.”

“One thing I liked about our meeting,” said Pettine. “We talked about being prepared to handle the pressure and the demands of being an NFL quarterback, and he told us, ‘I’m equipped to handle it. I think I’ve handled it already.’ I think he’s right.”

One day after being selected, Manziel came to Cleveland and received his very copy of the Browns’ playbook. Having a playbook will be different for Manziel, as Texas A&M didn’t give out playbooks—just weekly game plans. Alas, Manziel has reportedly been studying it as he prepares to compete with Brian Hoyer this summer.

Other notes from King’s column:

  • The Browns were seconds away from turning in the card with Sammy Watkins’ name on it at No. 4. Ray Farmer stated that Justin Gilbert has just as big of a chance as being Patrick Peterson as Watkins does Randy Moss and that the team has no regrets on making the deal with Buffalo.
  • King stated that Farmer’s draft, if the players turn out to be who they feel they’re getting, is “executive of the year” material. Check out this quote from Farmer on not getting a wide recevier: “I’ll be candid here. The real position to get a receiver would have been at 35, and we thought of it. There were receivers there we liked a lot. But we loved [Nevada tackle] Joel Bitonio at 35. He was clearly the highest-rated player for us then. Not another guy of his caliber, or even close, there. We stayed true to our board. Then we hoped one of the receivers we liked would have fallen to 71, but they were gone then. That’s the heartbreaking part of the draft. You like so many guys, and they get picked, and you say, ‘There goes another one.’ It hurts, but you can’t have everyone you want.”
  • Manziel is already eying up the teams that passed on him as they appear on the Browns’ schedule. The only question will be if he’s going to be the one under center when they come to town.

(Photo: Adam Hunger/ USA Today)

  • scott, shame on you for that headline. it implies manziel was a mess when in fact the organization of the workout was a mess.

  • Harv 21

    thought the headline meant Johnny’s workout was horrible and the Browns ignored it, possibly implying the meddling fingers of Haslam. In actuality, the story of a top QB’s workout with his pudgy 30-something agent as receiver is pretty funny.

  • steve-o

    “I’d be better if you could catch.” Unfortunately, this could be the theme for the 2014 season.

  • MrCleaveland

    I understand his vendetta thing against teams that passed him up, but it’s a little immature. I guess Johnny just hasn’t had that many disappointments in life. Gotta learn to roll with ’em, son.

  • No, it imples what it says: The workout was a mess. Did it say Manziel was a mess? Syntax.

  • Duke

    In my opinion, the headline is intentionally ambiguous to drive page views.

  • RGB

    We’re looking at you Mr. Little.

  • MrCleaveland

    Over the past few days, I’ve been reminded many times of Bill Parcells’ sort-of-famous quote: “I hate celebrity quarterbacks.”

  • Garry_Owen

    Well . . . the “me against the world campaign” that Peter King writes about exists, as far as I can tell, only in Peter King’s mind, and Peter King’s mind is a frightening place. No quotations from Manziel at all.

    I would imagine that any conversation went something like this:
    King: “So, Football, are you at all fired up to face some of the teams that passed over you in the draft? Looking forward to showing them a little bit of what they skipped?
    Football: “Yeah. Definitely.”
    King: “I’m looking forward to seeing this vendetta play out!”
    Football: “Okay”
    King: “Need a beer-flavored coffee, stat. Gotta run with this vendetta story!”

  • Garry_Owen

    And Mr. Little is looking at his hands.

  • Harv 21

    Oh geez, thanks for the reminder. Three regimes are nuked yet somehow Greg Little survives like a football cockroach. Maybe some unspeakable deal with the devil that makes every coach under the hot Berea sun believe Mary Kay’s annual nonsense: “Greg Little looks great and poised for a break out year.”

  • Harv 21

    Mary Kay: “What about the TMZ picture which caught you sipping CHAMPAGNE!!?? Care to comment about THAT?”

    Player fighting eye roll with every ounce of strength: “I’m 21.”

    Mary Kay furiously scribbling: “maturity questions, when will he grow up, must check TMZ every 5 minutes, Windhorst now getting big bucks …”

  • MrCleaveland

    Idea for a sitcom treatment: A remake of WKRP called “WFNY in Cleveland.” The whole town’s got Johnny Fever.

  • RGB

    So, who gets to say…
    “As God is my witness, I thought Johnny could throw.”

  • Because we do that here.

  • Let’s get the production crews in place.

  • MrCleaveland

    Betty White?

  • Natedawg86

    Mr. Dependable

  • Garry_Owen

    We’ll just need to work on a new jingle. It doesn’t roll off the tongue like the original.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Easy killer.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This is why the Browns brought in so many UFA at the WR positions!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    One problem: She didn’t ask about the champagne first it was a male reporter. She did ask about it a second time along with at least 1-2 questions about celebrity and LeBron however.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • Andrius Stankus

    All he needs to do is sell jerseys and t shirts like this http://bit.ly/1fUkEN5

  • BenRM

    MKC: “Greg Little is an ELITE receiver.”

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I think that’s what impressed the Browns: If he can handle this in what’s supposed to be his job interview, surely he can avoid strangling Greg Little on the sidelines, yet be able to call him to task: “This would be a lot easier if you’d catch something, Greg.”

  • That was Jeff Schudel who asked that question. From the News-Herald. Unmistakable voice. And typical Schudel type question.

  • Also for the record, Johnny wasn’t “sipping” champagne. He was blasting it all over a crowd of hot chicks in what appeared to be a bar or club. lol

  • Mike Stein

    No receivers to work with? Sounds like excellent prep for a Browns QB.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yes I couldn’t remember the name but agree on the voice. He’s been a guest with Les Levine many times.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • The_Real_Shamrock

    $hamrok likes his style!

  • jeff

    Love your site, but you could have easily made the title: “No WRs at Johnny’s workout”. You know what you did. Come on Scott.

  • Wow

    Scott never gets fire up like this. Awesome.

  • jeff

    Schudel is one of the biggest losers I have ever seen in my life. Just a complete buffoon. Don’t know how he still has a job. Awful writer and horrible views about the world.

  • Lake Erie Monster

    Me too, Big Bad Harv. Me too.

  • Harv 21

    so many things to blast MKC about and I choose something she didn’t even do. Shame on me, thought it was a female voice. Though she did ask other inanities.

  • F-tard

    Terrible article.. Headline “is a mess” …

  • I’m fired up? News to me.

  • MrEvilSouthernWhiteMale

    ooooo, its MrClassWarfare.

  • MrEvilSouthernWhiteMale

    Heisman award winning first round draftee, Mr Football probably appreciates your advice very much. He’s not doing well so far. You should send him this in a telegram.

  • Wow

    You’re usually calm and collected compared to some of the other writers.

  • I’m very calm. Not sure what has inferred otherwise.
    All I said was that it was a silly discussion. Blame King for calling it a mess. All I did was headline his report.

  • Wow

    Scott, it’s not a bad thing. Maybe I should have said annoyed instead?