Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach complimented Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel and said he and Manziel "would be very similar" on the field. Off the field, Staubach said, is a different matter.
Staubach said that Manziel "works hard," is "very competitive" and is "going to be a good quarterback" in the NFL. The former Dallas Cowboys great also said that he advised Manziel that the rookie shouldn't do anything that would cause him to lose the respect of his teammates, whether through failing to work hard or due to his off-field behavior.
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"I’m as competitive as he is, but he’s a nice kid too," Staubach told USA TODAY. "Off the field, he’s you know, lived the higher life. Of course I was married with three kids when I was in the Navy. So by the time I joined the Cowboys I obviously had a family and everything and Johnny’s still having a good time."
"I told him on the field the thing is your teammates have to have confidence in you. And I said the most important thing you can do is make sure transfer your confidence to them because if they don’t have confidence in you, you’re not going to get the job done. It’s a team game, it’s a team effort and so he is such a good player and he has confidence in himself but he cannot lose the confidence of his teammates."
The pair filmed a commercial together this year.
Manziel, 21, has become known for his off-field partying both while playing for Texas A&M and this summer after the Browns selected him in the first round of the NFL draft. He admitted last month that he misses the "college life."
Though Manziel was in contention to be Cleveland's starting quarterback in training camp, veteran Brian Hoyer beat him out and has led the Browns to a 6-3 record this season, good for first place in the AFC North. Browns head coach Mike Pettine said Manziel seemed "frustrated" with his backup role, which Manziel denied several weeks ago.
Staubach, 72, played for the Cowboys from 1969-79, helping the team win two Super Bowls. He's currently the executive chairman of real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle.
- Ben Estes