Manziel begins the pre-draft jockeying

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
3:15
PM ET
While some will emphasize the one shoutout that Johnny Manziel gave to the Cleveland Browns and their fans, the biggest takeaway form the fine story by John McLain in the Houston Chronicle is Manziel is trying to burnish his image.

Manziel
The pre-draft process has begun.

First things first.

Manziel made it more than clear he hopes and wants and desires to be the first pick in the draft and play in Houston.

Then again ...

"If something happens, and it's the Cleveland Browns, I'm going to pour my heart out for the Dawg Pound and try to win a Super Bowl for Cleveland," he told the Chronicle. "I don't care if they've had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999. I'm going to be the 21st and the guy that brought them the Super Bowl."

There are no other mentions of the word “Browns” in the story, and there is only one other mention of “Cleveland” -- when he says he’d have to be dragged off the field whether he went to Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland or Oakland.

But the chatter in Cleveland started almost immediately. It almost sounded like the old Life cereal commercials. He likes us! He really likes us!

This effort to invite reporters from two Texas papers to watch him work out in the surf under quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. really seems like an effort to rehab an image framed by football, autographs, money and appearing on websites at almost every major event and party known to man. Access to Manziel was granted for a day, and he spoke about his “goofball” actions in the past and how he’s going to be the next coming of whatever person he chooses to discuss.

Now he's no longer Johnny Football.

He's Johnny Manziel.

But he's dedicated to football.

It's well worth a read.

But it’s also worth noting: The silly season is officially underway.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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