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Johnny Manziel press conference: Browns vs. Bengals

What changed in the second half?

"We hurt ourselves in the second half. We didn't do enough. It's a game of little things and we didn't do the little things in the second half. We didn't get a first down, and instead had fourth-and-inches. We had some momentum coming in to the half, so we really needed that."

What was your mindset as you got out of the first series of the first half?

"We came out and did some good things in the second half and got the run game established."

Do you feel that you can do this job?

"Yes. I think things slowed down a little bit and I was on the same page with the offensive line. They played us pretty basic in the second half, but they made some good adjustments."

Do you think the Bengals' defense forced you to change your game in the second half?

"They came out and played a lot of cover-two. Looking back, there were a few times I could've checked down to a tight end or a running back."

Did they make any adjustments to keep you in the pocket?

"I didn't notice a lot. Their coverage changed, but they didn't bring a lot of pressure like they did earlier in the game."

It seemed like offensive coordinator John DeFilippo called some plays to give you opportunities ...

"I think Flip called a great game. We didn't get a chance in the second half to get something going. That's the difference between the first and second half. In the first half we had some things going and we able to call some runs and do some good things."

Do you think Taylor Gabriel should've caught the ball in the end zone?

"I have a lot of faith in Taylor Gabriel. That's a guy who I'm really close with. I told him the whole game that I would keep throwing his way. I have all the faith in the world in those guys. I'm proud of my guys for fighting until the end of the game."

You're missing some of your top guys. Do you feel when you start to get some guys back, you'll have a better chance to make big plays?

"We want them out there with us, but at the same time, there's no excuse. We went into halftime with a chance to come out and do some good things. We're not going to make excuses."

Have you learned when to take a big hit and when not to?

"At the end of the game, I took a few shots. At that point, I was just trying to get into the end zone. It's part of football. You can't slide every time. You've got to be aware. At the same time, I'm trying to make some plays."

What's it like getting hit by guys of this size and speed?

"I'm good."

Do you want to get back out there?

"Yes, absolutely. We get a few days off now to refresh and get a break — come back, watch film and then get ready to go for the following week. The schedule doesn't get any easier. We have to continue to come out. Our faith is being tested. Our season isn't going the way we wanted it to go, but we have a lot of fight in us."

Do you look at this as your time?

"We have to go back and look at everything. I think there were some good things done in the first half, but there's two halves for a reason. I did some good things tonight, and some things I wish I could have back. We'll have to go back and look at it."

What do you feel you did well tonight?

"Keep two hands on the ball. We didn't have any turnovers tonight. It didn't make much of a difference tonight, but that's something we struggled with earlier in the season. Knowing when to pick your battles. Sometimes I stood in there and took a shot and other times I was able to check down and go into another play. I think things slowed down for me. Live game reps for me are good."

How do you feel tonight compared to last year's start against the Bengals?

"The second half is eerily familiar. We put some points on the board, at least."

Did they try to keep you in the pocket in the second half?

"I couldn't tell. I didn't think they brought as much pressure. I think for the most part we handled it pretty good and I didn't notice much of a change between the two halves."

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