BEREA— A little less than a week ago, Johnny Manziel said there will always be a cloud of publicity that hovers over his head amidst any travels he may take, indicating that no matter where he goes, he’ll be the subject of media scrutiny and attention, in one way or another.
Six days ago, Manziel was saying these things as the Browns’ backup quarterback.
Now, Manziel has been named Cleveland’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season and that aforementioned cloud will almost certainly grow, but the second-year starter isn’t concerned about an increase in off-the-field attention.
“I'm sure it'll be amped up a little bit,” Manziel said, of his off-the-field attention. “Off the field, I'm not really worried about anything. I'm in a good place.”
Though the Browns have agreed with Manziel’s sentiment that he’s in a much better place in his personal life, head coach Mike Pettine still discussed his expectations for the quarterback off the field, when telling him the news of his decision.
“He and I got a chance to sit down this morning and that was one of the things … that came up in this discussion,” Pettine said. “He knows that with these expectations there comes great responsibility. That’s something that he knows he has to live up to.”
There may be a level of comfortability with Manziel’s off the field behavior in a general sense, as it has been less noticeable for a large majority of this season, but that's not to say that No. 2 has earned Pettine’s complete trust.
Manziel has tried, however, to assure his coach that he’ll be on his best behavior going forward, as he understands the responsibilities and requirements that come with the new role.
“I let him know that I'm not going to do anything that's going to be a distraction to this team or be an embarrassment to the organization,” Manziel said of Pettine. “That was the thing he stressed to me as well.”
While Manziel has taken it upon himself to stay out of the spotlight, it just so happens that the Browns made the move to Manziel at a time in the season during which players have the most free time— the bye week.
The bye week will allow the Browns players and coaches to get away from the facility and enjoy a couple of days off on their own, which has, at times, led to individuals finding themselves in bad situations.
With his past history— the cloud, if you will— the bye week is cause for concern about Manziel, but he insists that his plans are centered around laying low and recharging for the six games ahead.
“I'm going to get a chance to go and relax like everybody else in this locker room is,” Manziel said. “I'm going to come back and gear up for these last set of games that we have and come in fresh-minded, ready to go and excited to be back on the football field.”
He has yet to decide whether or not he’ll travel to visit with family amidst his couple of days off, but no matter where he goes, he’ll keep the break brief.
After all, he has a big opporunity for which he needs to prepare in a little less than two weeks against the Blatimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
“I'll definitely be back probably earlier than some people,” Manziel said. “I’ll be back at some point over the weekend if I do decide to leave… I definitely won't take all five [days off].”
Whether he sticks around, heads home to Texas or even to Nashville, where the Texas A&M Aggies play the Vanderbilt Commodores this weekend, Manziel made it known, again, that those who are concerned need not be.
“I don't think they're going to have to worry about me this week," Manziel said.
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.