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Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel: 'I need to earn my place'

Don't expect Johnny Manziel to say anything crazy as a rookie. When it comes to saying the right things in a media setting, Manziel handles himself like a 10-year NFL veteran.

The popular view of Manziel is the new Cleveland Browns quarterback is cocky and full of himself, but even if he is he hides it well. So it's not a big surprise that after a rookie camp practice on Saturday, Manziel came off well talking about the hoopla surrounding his first week as a professional, including slipping to the 22nd overall pick and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam saying he will begin his career as Brian Hoyer's backup and needs to work his way up.

"I'm a rookie,'' he said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I need to earn my place. I need to earn my keep. 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. I was completely OK with hearing that from everybody. I don't want to come in and have anything handed to me that I don't deserve."

In a way, no matter what Manziel does from here on out, he'll always be one of the most talked about players in the league. He's like Tim Tebow that way. Manziel drew a lot of attention to himself after his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 2012 but since a huge story about him selling autographs came out last summer, he's been mostly subdued. Even if he continues that way, it won't matter. The legend of Johnny Football isn't going to die anytime soon.

[Photos: Johnny Manziel makes Browns debut]

He didn't say anything Saturday to draw any additional attention. He was respectful of Hoyer, his teammates and coaches and even downplayed the text he sent to Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains promising to "wreck this league" if the Browns drafted him, something Manziel probably didn't figure would become public. 

"To have success you need to do some good things and that's more what I was talking about than coming in and dominating as a rookie, it wasn't that talk at all," Manziel said, according to the Plain Dealer. "It was coming in and trying to win some games if I'm going to be here and if I get the opportunity to play."

Even if Manziel planned to come into the NFL talking up himself and his abilities (he wasn't), he's using the fact that he was passed up so often in the draft as proof that he has been put in his place.

"I got passed up 21 times, so that says something,'' Manziel said, according to the Plain Dealer. "Getting passed up 21 times is never fun and obviously some of those teams weren't going to take quarterbacks and we knew that going into it, but still, it's even humbling to be the second quarterback off the board, so for them to come in and say that, I don't think I need to be humbled."

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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