Johnny Manziel: 'I'm going to live my life to the fullest'
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel had quite the weekend in Las Vegas, all of his fun, including partying with girls in bikinis and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, captured via social media.
Manziel lives his life under a microscope, but that doesn't mean he's doing anything wrong. Just ask him.
"I don't live my life according to you guys or according to what other people think of me,'' Manziel said. "I'm going to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game, committed to what I need to be doing here and trying to earn my place in this locker room with these coaches, with this organization. If I want to go out and have some fun and it doesn't hinder what my main goals in life are then I don't really care what anybody has to say.
"I'm very surprised that it's actually a story. For me, I've accomplished dreams of mine that I never really thought I'd get a chance to be in this position and I've been here every day working extremely hard. I'm coming in here every day trying to earn my place and do what I need to do"
Browns coach Mike Pettine said Manziel has done nothing wrong and has worked hard and knows his playbook.
Manziel said he's grown accustomed to the scrutiny.
"I've learned to accept that for awhile now,'' Manziel said. "I knew that a picture was going to be taken of me and somebody was going to see me whether it was going back home or going to anywhere or staying here. Maybe it would've been less of a story somewhere else but I knew going into it that I can't go anywhere without people knowing or tweeting that I'm there, so I'm used to it now. Fair or unfair, that's my life.''
Manziel has moved up to second-string quarterback from third-string initially.
"I haven't really done anything at this level,'' Manziel said. "I haven't done anything to establish myself or create this type of buzz or anything like that. I'm just another rookie. I'm just another guy that comes up just like any other quarterback or any other guy does from the next year. Yeah, (I won the) Heisman Trophy and I did some okay things in college, but I'm trying to just accept the buzz that's kind of like it was in college even though I haven't done anything here. It's a little bit of a question still.''
Pettine downplayed the attention paid to Manziel.
"Personally, I think it's overblown,'' Pettine said. "More is made of it than it should be. If maybe he had gone somewhere else (it would have drawn less attention) but it's a difficult situation. I think wherever he goes, there's going to be issues.'
"My advice to him was have fun. He's a young guy. He's done everything that we've asked. The playbook has not been an issue for him. It's something that I know a big deal was made of it [publically], but internally, we have an expectation for all of our players outside of the building to act a certain way, and it's really a non-issue. Just like anybody else, he's a man, and we're going to treat our guys like that until they prove that they need to be treated otherwise."
What about Manziel's partying ways?
"We have a saying in the NFL: as long as it doesn't affect your job, I'm not going to micromanage our players outside of the building,'' Pettine said. "What gets put out there, we don't have control over. He didn't do anything illegal. To me, it's a non-issue."
As a reminder, Manziel posted an Instagram photo studying his playbook. He also flew coach. In the middle seat no less.
"He's very much on point with his preparation,'' Pettine said "He's been outstanding in the weight room, in the workout part of it, and he comes out here to practice and works as hard or harder as anybody else."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun