Duke Johnson Jr.'s feet were firmly planted in the present Friday.
No looking back, no looking to anything but the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
"Right now, for me, Josh (McCown) is injured, so I am the next guy up," Manziel said. "My role here is to go out and play and lead us to a win. I am not looking anything past this game. Anything past the next week, it is really go into this week and do my best and from there on we will see what happens."
Manziel had been preparing as if he'd be the starter Sunday since the beginning of the week. He found out he'd officially make the third start of his career early Friday, as McCown remained in the league's concussion protocol and was unable to practice.
The full week working with the first team was vital for Manziel, who entered last week's game against the Jets early in the second quarter with minimal repetitions alongside the first-team offensive players. Still, both Manziel and coach Mike Pettine focused more on the snaps he logged in the 31-10 defeat and how they'd benefit the quarterback in a setting as big as Sunday's home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium.
"That's why we're confident just in how Johnny's handled his business since he's come back," Pettine said. "He's been a guy that has prepared like he's the starter and that's why when it's for these exact situations."
The outside noise surrounding a game between two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks, Manziel and Tennessee rookie Marcus Mariota, was the last thing on either of their minds.
And that's been apparent to Pettine.
"I think from a mental toughness (standpoint), he's been very, very focused, very dialed in," Pettine said. "Their defense presents a lot of problems and I think we'll have more than enough to worry about than to think of looking up and trying to compare stats.
"The only thing he's going to worry about is the scoreboard."
And that applies to more than just Mariota, as Manziel shut down any conjecture about what's next for him if he performs well against the Titans.
That's a question and problem Manziel and Pettine are willing to put off until Monday. The task at hand for a team that wants to bounce back in a big way from last week's disappointing loss is far too important.
"We are looking forward to this week. Everything else outside of that I can't control what is going to happen," Manziel said. "If I went out and I played well this week, things don't go the way we want or whatever the case may be, that is just a big "what if?" right now looking at that question.
"For me, keep it simple, go out and try to get these guys rallied around me, being the guy and being the leader this week and everything else will play itself out."
With McCown officially ruled out Sunday, recently acquired Austin Davis will serve as the backup.
Davis, who started eight games for the Rams last season, has gone through a crash course in learning the Browns offense over the past 11 days. The transition has been aided not only by the similarities in philosophy between the Rams' and Browns' playbook, but also by his intelligence and high football IQ.
"There was a lot of it that he walked in the door already knowing," Pettine said.