Handling Johnny Manziel is easier than Tebowmania, says Mike Pettine

Monday June 9th, 2014

Handling Johnny Manziel easier than Tim Tebow-mania, says Mike Pettine The Browns have treated Johnny Manziel (right) as the backup quarterback in OTAs. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns welcomed a circus to town when they drafted quarterback Johnny Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. The attention, however, is something all too familiar for head coach Mike Pettine.

Before joining the Browns as head coach, Pettine witnessed a different media circus with "Tebowmania" in New York.

Pettine was the New York Jets' defensive coordinator when Tim Tebow arrived in New York in 2012, so he learned some tips on how a coach should handle all of the attention that a quarterback brings.

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“The circumstances are different,” Pettine said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Tebow was an established NFL player [when he was traded to the Jets], he wasn’t coming in as a rookie, unproven. It’s a little easier for us with Manziel because he understands he earned Johnny Football as a college player and nobody understands it more than him. It’s like, ‘Listen, I don’t want to be named starter coming out of the draft.’

“People criticize us for referring to him as a backup. That’s what he is. It would have been a disservice to the other 80-some players in the locker room and it would have been a [disservice] to him carrying that burden of ‘What have you done to deserve this?’ We all want him to be successful but there is a process that has to occur and he has to go through it.”

Unlike Tebow, Manziel seems destined for a starting job. Once Manziel is in the No. 1 spot on the depth chart, handling him may become more difficult, but for now the situation is nothing to sweat.

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