Manziel has publicly supported Colin Kaepernick and attempted not to pit the two quarterbacks against one another in the free agent market, and Wednesday he appeared on The Dan Patrick Show in a lengthy interview that covered, among other things, what exactly went wrong in Cleveland.
The former Browns quarterback was blunt about his failures there, but he also said the team essentially should have known better than to draft him and expect him to thrive. Manziel said that the team didn’t do its “homework” on him and didn’t know his habits, which were not exactly professional.
Patrick’s question comes at the 6:22 mark of the video, where he basically gives Manziel a “mulligan” on his rookie season and asked him what he’d do differently. Manziel mentions the offseason work needed to succeed in the NFL, something he didn’t realize until later.
“If Cleveland did any of their homework they would have known that I was a guy that didn’t come in every day and watch film,” Manziel said. “I was a guy that didn’t really know the X’s and O’s of football.”
Manziel noted the differences between the offense he ran at Texas A&M and how it didn’t prepare him for what would be necessary to succeed in Clevleand. And no one was there to help him bridge that gap.
“Nobody was there, like helping me go over the X’s and O’s, and it was hard,” he said. “I struggled. And then getting on the practice field, I lost a lot of confidence after a couple of days there.”
Manziel did, indeed, struggle, and his flameout probably does have a fair bit of blame to spread around the organization, himself included. But Manziel makes a good point: prospects can fail for a lot of different reasons, including organizational failures. Cleveland has had plenty of those over the years, and as a team once again looking for its next great quarterback, the hope is they’ve learned from Manziel’s failures.