BEREA— The Cleveland Browns had three days off this past weekend, allowing for the players to do as they pleased to take their minds off of the game.
52 of those players were able to keep their weekend whereabouts relatively private.
One, however, didn’t have that luxury.
Johnny Manziel’s travels were well-documented, as is almost every waking moment of his life.
The former Texas A&M quarterback traveled back to College Station, TX over the weekend, where he and a few of his former teammates were honored amidst the Aggies’ matchup with the Auburn Tigers.
A day later, images emerged on Busted Coverage, showing Manziel seemingly drinking and receiving kisses from girls not named Colleen Crowley.
Though the fun was apparently innocent, Manziel knows why people made such a big deal of the aforementioned images.
“I think there’s going to continue to always be a cloud over my head from everything that’s happened in the past,” Manziel said. “I probably took 2,000 pictures this weekend and just those are the ones that happened to be blasted out onto social media. I took a lot of pictures with a lot of people and I think I made a lot of people happy, so I can’t really control who does what with those and what people say about them.”
He may not be able to control the perception that outsiders may have of him, but what he can control is what he does in his time away from the field and, in this instance, he felt that he was in no way wrong for heading back to Texas.
"I got a chance and an incredible opportunity to go back to a place that myself and a ton of other teammates at Texas A&M helped build,” Manziel said. “Luck of the draw for me that it worked out that way and being able to go back home. I think it was an awesome time for me and I was really excited to be back in Aggieland.”
Maybe the lack of guilt from Manziel, for both his trip and for the pictures that emerged, comes from an increase in comfort.
After all, Manziel is very at ease with the way he’s handled his personal life, even after the events in October that set the internet abuzz.
“For me, my personal life is my personal life,” Manziel said. “I have changed and adapted my lifestyle incredibly since last year.”
Comfortable or not, Manziel understands how he’s viewed and that any situation he’s in, with even the slightest of possibility of debauchery, will be construed.
“That’s not going to go away,” Manziel said. “I’m sure any time anybody sees me in any type of aspect or any type of situation the way that anything would’ve been before, they’re just going to say, ‘oh, he’s back to doing the same thing over and over again.’”
While those that see the pictures from this past weekend on the internet may think that Manziel hasn’t changed, at the end of the day, Manziel is the only one that knows whether he has or has not matured.
He insists, continuously, that he is not the same person that he was a year ago.
“I’m smart enough to have learned a lot over my past year and a half,” Manziel said. “That’s for sure.”
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.