Browns cornerback Joe Haden, fresh off the Pro Bowl and making the rounds on radio row at the Super Bowl Wednesday, took exception to one of his teammates anonymously blasting Johnny Manziel last week. "Johnny is definitely not a joke,'' Haden, who's in town in his new role as a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, told Northeast Ohio Media Group. "It's not true at all that Johnny's teammates think he's a 100% joke.'' Haden was referring to a story last week on ESPN.com that quoted an unnamed Browns player saying that Manziel throughout the 2014 season was a "100% joke.'' Haden was bothered by the fact that a teammate would rip Manziel that way, especially without using his name. He pointed out that teammates Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby constructively criticized rookie Justin Gilbert during the season, but did so on the record. "That unnamed source thing really gets on my nerves,'' he said. On the contrary, Haden said the players he interacts on a daily basis really like and support Manziel. "Oh for sure,'' said Haden. "Everybody. Me, Phil Taylor loves him. Travis (Benjamin) loves him. There's a lot of players on the team that do so I don't really know. You'd have to find that person who said that.'' Haden, who's become friends with Manziel, also disagreed that No. 22 pick did not prepare hard and that he wasn't ready to play. "For most of the season, he was the backup,'' said Haden. "He was doing what he was supposed to do. (Brian) Hoyer was out there balling, he was the starting quarterback. What do you want him to do? He was the backup.'' Haden said that if Manziel didn't always excel in practice, there was a good reason.
Browns' Joe Haden: 'Johnny Manziel is definitely not a joke'
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Jan 29