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Johnny Manziel lauded as ‘great teammate and good friend'

Posted Apr 15, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff.

Johnny Manziel, Kevin Costner, Von Miller

Johnny Manziel has a fan in former Texas A&M teammate Luke Joeckel.

He could very well be reunited with him on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who made Joeckel the second overall pick of last year’s draft and might be inclined to make Manziel the third overall choice on May 8.

Joeckel, an offensive tackle, sounds as if he would relish the opportunity to again block for the dynamic former Aggies quarterback that he calls “a great teammate and good friend.”

“There’s one thing that no one can really deny with Johnny, is that he can play football,” Joeckel told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Playing with him, being with him for two years at A&M, he goes out there and he competes and he wants to win. I loved playing with him. …I think he’d fit in to any NFL system. He’s a guy that just can play football, he’s an extremely smart guy. He’s a competitor.

“You know, every single Sunday, he’ll come out there and he wants to win football games.”

VON MILLER SAYS HE’S ‘GOT TO BE BETTER’ IN RETURN FROM INJURY

Von Miller would like to forget about 2013, which had very little in common with the impressive rookie year he had in 2011, when he registered 11.5 sacks, and the even stronger second season he had in 2012, when he finished with 18.5 sacks.

The Denver Broncos’ outside linebacker began the ’13 campaign with a suspension and ended it with a torn ACL. The time he did play wasn’t all that memorable; he finished with five sacks in nine games. So Miller is determined to show this year that he still can be the dominant force he was in his first two seasons.

“With today’s medicine and what’s going on now like ACL, it’s really not as serious as it used to be,” Miller told ESPN. “I’m a hundred-percent percent positive I’ll be able to come back not only be the same Von, (but) I got to be better. You come back and be the same guy it’s like you go, ‘It’s the same Von again,’ and I got to be better.

“When I get back to full speed, I’m going to be ready to go. When you’re coming off an ACL, it helps you re-evaluate what really matters to you and what really matters to me is playing football and be able to get back to that.”

JETS TURNED DOWN CHANCE TO BE KEY PART OF ‘DRAFT DAY’ SCRIPT

Much of the drama in the movie “Draft Day,” which is based on the Cleveland Browns’ maneuvering on the first day of the draft, centers around a trade the Browns’ fictitious general manager, Sonny Weaver, Jr. (played by Kevin Costner) makes with the Seattle Seahawks for the top overall choice.

The presumption is the Browns are targeting a quarterback that the Seahawks are willing to give up for a staggering number of high picks.

The team with which Costner’s character was originally supposed to make the trade with the New York Jets. However, they pulled out of the movie shortly before shooting began last year. They apparently decided that, while under considerable media scrutiny from a real-life quarterback controversy, being depicted as passing up on one in a movie would only result in more grief.

“They were having something of a quarterback dispute, and the team said that this is just going to incite our fans a little more to criticize us, even though it’s all fictional,” director Ivan Reitman told the Los Angeles Times.

PITT QUARTERBACK TOM SAVAGE GETTING PLENTY OF PRE-DRAFT ATTENTION

You don’t hear his name mentioned in the media among the so-called elite quarterbacks in this year’s draft. He is easily lost in the large shadows cast by Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr.

Yet, NFL teams clearly know about University of Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage. And most of them are taking the time to get to know him better.

According to Peter King of TheMMQB.com, Savage has met or will meet with 24 or 25 teams before the April 27 deadline for clubs to schedule such visits. In fact, Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, told King that there “literally no days left” for his client to meet with any other teams before the deadline.

Savage is an interesting prospect. Questions have been raised because of a limited body of work caused by the fact he began his collegiate career at Rutgers, then transferred to Arizona, and transferred again to Pitt.

But his one season for the Panthers was impressive, as he passed for 2,958 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing only nine interceptions. His highlight was a six-touchdown, 424-yard performance against Duke.

RAMS TURN FASCINATION OVER NFL SCHEDULE RELEASE INTO A CONTEST

We all anxiously await the release of the NFL schedule so that we can finally find out when certain games will be played and plan our lives accordingly.

The St. Louis Rams have found a way to ratchet up the fun and intrigue over the secrecy surrounding the league’s announcement of when all 32 teams, whose 2014 opponents are already known, will play their games.

On Monday, the Rams announced they would award $100,000 to anyone who correctly predicts their 2014 regular-season schedule before it becomes public. The contest is being staged on the Rams’ official website, and entrants must pick all 16 games and the bye week in the proper order as well as the correct day each game is played.

According to the rules, the contest ends when the schedule is released and no later than one second short of 6 p.m. ET on Monday, April 21. If there is no winner, then no prize will be awarded, the rules say, and the potential winner will be determined by May 1.

In addition to knowing that all Week 17 games are divisional matchups, fans received the following helpful tip via Twitter from Rams executive vice president of football operations/chief operating officer Kevin Demoff: byes don’t start until Week Four and end in Week 12.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.

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