The Cleveland Browns have been “alarmed” by some of Johnny Manziel’s behavior and the rookie is losing ground in the starting quarterback race, according to a report.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group says the Browns feel deceived by Manziel, who told them he would leave behind his frat-boy ways from college if the team drafted him. Instead, he’s been out partying frequently since being drafted, spending weekends in Las Vegas, LA, Houston and other cities.
Cabot says the photo of Manziel with a rolled-up bill in a Las Vegas bathroom — a photo that implies potential cocaine use — is just one thing that has the team concerned. But that’s not the only reason the Browns are supposedly worried.
Here’s what Cabot writes:
Manziel regressed in practice after the first week of organized team activities, and some in the organization attributed it to too much jet-setting and not enough dedication to the playbook.
Team officials had bought into Manziel’s pre-draft promises to tone down the partying and leave his frat-boy lifestyle back in College Station, Texas, and they’ve been stunned by his non-stop antics, sources said.
Manziel has stood up to some of the criticism about him traveling/partying by saying he could study his playbook while also enjoying himself. Some with the Browns apparently feel otherwise.
Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine has plans to announce a starting quarterback by Week 3 of the preseason. Brian Hoyer will end up being the starter in all likelihood; Pettine has said Hoyer is the team’s starter for now.
Though the Browns have concerns about Manziel’s behavior, the rookie supposedly has been working hard. He’s been working out and practicing with his private quarterback coach George Whitfield, according to Cabot’s report. There is also the belief that he will be more focused and plugged-in now that camp has started.
I find the timing of this report extremely interesting. The Browns went from supporting Manziel and defending his behavior to now saying Hoyer is the starter. Is it possible they also let this story out because they’re trying to scare Manziel straight? It’s not a stretch for me to believe that could be the case.