DEARBORN — Nate Burleson, former Detroit Lions wide receiver now with the Cleveland Browns, said quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Johnny Manziel have something in common.
“They’ve very different. The one thing they are quite comparable in, is they’re quietly cocky which is a great characteristic to have at the quarterback position,’’ Burleson said on Saturday prior to the Lions charity softball game benefiting Detroit Public Schools.
Manziel quietly cocky? Really?
“From what I’ve seen outside looking in, everybody has their misconceptions about him, but he’s acting like a rookie should which is don’t say nothing,’’ Burleson said. “But I know what he’s thinking, I know he’s like ‘I’m the man.’ He’s supposed to think like that, he’s not acting like that. He’s not walking around with his chest out, because rookies don’t do that. He understands the role he’s in. But I can tell he knows how good he is, he should be, he’s a talented dude.’’
Burleson said NFL quarterbacks need to have that inner quiet cockiness.
“You want to walk into the huddle and know that the guy throwing you the ball feels like he’s the best,’’ Burleson said. “Johnny has that, Matt has that. We’ll see what happens. (Brian) Hoyer is playing great right now, he’s coming off ACL he’s not even 100 percent and he’s playing at a high level. We’ve got a great quarterback competition.’’
Manziel, aka Johnny Football, was the 22nd overall pick in the draft last month. He’s competing with Hoyer (Michigan State) for the starting position.
Burleson, 32, was let go by the Lions after four seasons and signed as a free agent by the Browns.