Johnny Manziel hits the practice field for Cleveland Browns
MAY 17, 2014 12:22p ET
BEREA, Ohio-- The much-awaited arrival of Johnny Manziel went off Saturday in Berea with little fanfare.
After his first practice, Manziel said the draft was humbling for him.
"I got passed up 21 times," Manziel said. "That says something. As much as (my) success came early, it never came easy. I had to work extremely hard to get where I was... Getting passed up 21 times, is never fun."
"Its even humbling to be the second quarterback taken off the board."
"I'm a rookie," Manziel said Saturday. "I need to earn my place. I need to earn my keep. Nothing here needs to be handed to me. I don't need to be treated based off what I did in the past because that doesn't mean a thing at this level."
Manziel and his fellow rookie teammates took part in their first practice as members of the Browns. However, no pictures of Manziel wearing the brown and orange came out of the workout as Manziel wore the customary red jerseys of the quarterback.
During the 15 minutes allowed to watch by the local media, Manziel stretched, handed off balls to running backs and threw a few short passes to running backs.
The Browns traded up from their 26th pick with the Eagles to the 22nd spot on May 8 to select Manziel.
Earlier this week, Browns quarterback coach Dowell Loggains said in an interview with an ESPN Radio station in Arkansas that Manziel texted him and said "I want to wreck this league together".
Loggains said he forwarded those text messages to Jimmy Haslam and Mike Pettine. Loggains went on to say.
"Mr. Haslam said, 'Pull the trigger. We're trading up to go get this guy."
Manziel was asked about his comments.
"I wouldn't call it exactly legendary," he said. "I thought I had a good relationship with Coach Loggains and he was one of the only people to text me during the draft. He said there was some opportunity for them to get me. This was a place I was comfortable with the coaches, Coach Shanahan and if they wanted to take me and come here I said, 'Let's do it'. I don't know what kind of influence that had, but this is a place I wanted to be. Whenever I get a chance to play I don't want to be mediocre. That's more want I want to be try and win some games if I come here and get the opportunity to play."
Manziel was asked about being told he was going to be the backup from the start.
"I took it in stride," he said. "I'm a rookie. I was completely OK with hearing that from everybody. I don't want to be handed anything."
Rookies Arrive: The Browns had 26 rookie and young veterans in the camp. Five of the six drafted rookies were in attendance: DB Justin Gilbert, QB Johnny Manziel, OL Joel Bitonio, RB Terrance West and CB Pierre Desir. In addition, undrafted rookie free agents: FB Ray Agnew, OL Darwin Cook, RB Isaiah Crowell, OL Anthony Dima, WR Chandler Jones, WR Jonathan Krause, QB Connor Shaw, WR Kenny Shaw, WR Willie Snead, DL Calvin Barnett, OL Michael Phillipp and DL Elhadji Ndlaye.
Kirksey was not present as he went back to Iowa for his graduation.
Johnson was claimed off the Packers' practice squad last season but had a torn ACL and missed the season. Faulk missed all of last season coming off ACL surgery. Both Johnson and Faulk were on the non-football injury/reserve list. Slaughter was drafted in the sixth-round by the Browns last year but spent the majority of the season on the practice squad. Slaughter, Cook, Henderson, Staples, Vernon and Warren all finished the season on the Browns practice squad.
Camp Invitees: There were 35 players participating in the minicamp that were in on a tryout basis, including two kickers, two punters and a long snapper: WR Anthony Armstrong, K Trey Barrow, DL Alex Bazzie, LB Gregory Blair, RB Dorson Boyce, WR Dezmon Briscoe, RB Jordan Brooks, LB Carlo Calbrese, LB Robert Caldwell, WR Gerald Ford, TE Zane Fakes, DL Cory Freeman, WR Taylor Gabriel, P Joseph Gardener, DL Antonio Gillespie, LB Larry Grant, OL Randall Harris, DB Jason Hendricks, WR Keenan Holman, TE Blake Jackson, FB Eric Kettani, DL Christo Lisika, DL Jacobbi McDaniel, DL Vaughn Meatoga, K Matt Nelson, DB Robert Nelson, TE James Oboh, DL Nathan Ollie, QB Corey Robinson, DB Nick Saenz, P Anthony Santella, DB Jacques Washington, DB K'Waun Williams, RB Matthews Willis and LS James Winchester.