Johnny Manziel did his very best to win the starting quarterback job for the Cleveland Browns, but in the end, rookie head coach Mike Pettine chose to go with the veteran Brian Hoyer to start Week 1.
Regardless of starting his NFL career as a backup, at least one teammate of Manziel is coming out publicly supporting the former Heisman trophy winner.
Nate Burleson spoke with the media recently, and despite the fact that Manziel did not win the starting job, Burleson has a lot of faith in the young quarterback that he will one day turn into a star.
“Johnny’s still the man,” Burleson told Ohio.com after practice Thursday. “He’s still a really good quarterback. He’s an NFL-quality starting quarterback. Johnny being the No. 2, as you want to call it, we got arguably the best No. 2 in the NFL.”
“Johnny will be successful in this league,” Burleson continued. “He’ll have his opportunities. Regardless of how many chances he’ll get or waves of opportunities he gets, he’s going to take advantage of them. It’s not a bad thing for him to be the No. 2 [quarterback] Week 1. He is a rookie, still has a lot to learn and to do as a professional and as a player when it comes to the playbook. He’s going to be all right. I’m a Johnny Football fan.”
As Burleson stated, Manziel starting his career as a backup is nothing to scoff at. All NFL fans know that if the Browns come stumbling out of the gate early on in the season the team will quickly look to Manziel to save them. The question is, will he be ready to do so as Burleson suggests? Only time will tell.