Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel said he has a lot better control of his emotions now compared to a few months ago and expects to be harassed by defenders on Sunday.
"You saw in the preseason there was some stuff going on, but at the same time, I'm in a different place now," he said. "It's not like it was in preseason. I have to have a lot better control of everything. I'm under a lot more control than I was then, and I know I have a lot better control of my emotions. I know I need to go out and be the leader of this team, and regardless if I'm a rookie or not, go out and try to have fun and not get caught up in any other bull crap."
Manziel will get his first career start against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and is expecting to be taunted and harassed by defenders.
"I think I welcome it,'' he said. "I think I accept that and I've been a guy that's had a lot of hate spewed towards me, and obviously, we saw that at A&M, but it's part of it and you just move on from that and do what I need to do."
Browns safety Donte Whitner said there's defenders out there "that's going to want to get a shot on [Manziel]," while coach Mike Pettine said "everybody's gunning for him."
"Everybody wants a sack," said Pettine. "I guarantee that anyone who sacks him will stand over him and give the money sign. The best thing is not to get caught up in it. He has to go out and execute. When a play is over, it's over and you have to move on to the next one."
The Browns are 7-6 heading into Sunday's game.
- Molly Geary