Coach: Too soon to judge Manziel

— -- BEREA, Ohio -- Johnny Manziel said Tuesday it would be unfair for the Browns to write him off after playing about seven quarters of NFL football in his rookie year.

Mike Pettine agrees.

The Browns coach said Manziel was accurate in his statement that the sample size is far too small for a long-term evaluation. Pettine isn't ready to break down the franchise's plans for the position in 2015 (that's what the offseason is for), but he said he believes any narrative that Manziel has played his way out of favor with the team is manufactured from the outside.

Manziel completed 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown rush in two starts, a relief appearance at Buffalo and one incomplete pass early in the season. Manziel sat out the second half last week in Carolina with a hamstring injury that landed him on injured reserve Wednesday. Manziel showed flashes of promise with an 80-yard touchdown drive at Buffalo but suffered 10 three-play drives in his two starts.

"He's a player on our roster," Pettine said. "He'll have the chance to compete."

Manziel covered several topics in an interview with local media this week, alluding to not taking last offseason seriously enough after the Browns selected him 22nd overall in the draft. He said that he pressed too much as a starter and worried more about getting the play right than throwing with conviction, and that he plans to have a more productive offseason this time around.

"It's been a year of growing up for me," Manziel said. "It's a job for me now. I have to take it a lot more seriously than maybe I did at first."

When asked if that comment from Manziel is concerning or encouraging, Pettine said "probably a little bit of both," acknowledging that many rookies don't enter the NFL completely ready but adding that the Browns want their players prepared.

Safety Donte Whitner said he's doesn't know how Manziel handles himself in offensive meetings but likes what he sees on the practice field.

"From what I've seen and going against him on the scout team, he looked pretty good to us," Whitner said. "We'll see. He only played, what, seven quarters, six quarters. So you can't really judge based on that. So we'll have to wait probably another six months to a year to see how [he] really pan[s] out."