Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is coming off a stint as the Redskins' OC, when he worked with another hotshot rookie quarterback who won a Heisman Trophy — Robert Griffin III.
And the 34-year-old Shanahan sees similarities between RGIII and Johnny Manziel.
"Johnny and Robert are very similar," Shanahan told Jim Corbett of USA Today. "They're both talented guys who can make plays with their legs. But there comes a time in the NFL when they're going to keep you in the pocket, and you're going to have to have that ability to make the throws with your arm and mind.
"And Johnny, just like Robert, has that arm talent and intelligence to do that."
Griffin threw for 20 touchdowns and ran for seven his rookie season, leading the Redskins to the playoffs. But he struggled this past year returning from ACL surgery, throwing 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He didn't have a rushing touchdown after cutting down on his scrambling.
Shanahan also noted that, like Griffin, Manziel is a tireless worker despite the flak he received after his trip to Las Vegas.
"Perception becomes everyone's reality, but Johnny has been here working his tail off day and night, doing everything we ask," Shanahan said. "He's really attacked it every day, done a good job even as each week gets harder as we throw a lot more at him.PHOTO GALLERY: Johnny Manziel's rise to stardom
"I've been very impressed.
"You have to have some special magic, swagger to you that you can get the job done," Shanahan added, "and Johnny demonstrated that as good as anyone who's ever played college football. And we think he'll be able to carry it over.