BEREA—Johnny Manziel is good at saying the right things.
“I’m feel obviously, I’m very fortunate to be back in there after the last couple weeks,” Manziel said after practice Wednesday. “I had to learn a hard lesson the hard way. I’m lucky to be back in the position I’m in to be the starter again. I’m definitely not taking it lightly for sure.”
Manziel said similar things in the past after having incidents, but he was asked what he had learned.
“Obviously, there is a way to conduct yourself as 31 other guys in the league do each and every week,” Manziel said. “You have to follow that example and realize that this is a very prestigious situation that I’m in so I have to take pride in that and act accordingly.”
With the era of social media, Manziel was asked why he put himself in the position to be videoed in a less than flattering way during the bye week while back in Austin, Texas.
“I think it was a lapse of judgment and that’s what it comes down to.”
Mike Pettine is more interested in actions than words.
“I’m a big believer in ‘Show me. Don’t tell me,’ “ Pettine said before practice. “I have said that before. That is true of anybody. When trust gets violated, don’t tell me just day-to-day do the right thing and let that be your guiding force.”
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Pettine admitted the Browns didn’t anticipate how ‘deep rooted’ some of Manziel’s problems were. He was asked if the Browns were aware of Manziel’s reputation off the field.
“Of course,” Pettine said. “You see the reputation and what was out there. I don’t think we anticipated that his problems, his issues, maybe how deep rooted they were and the extent of it. If you sat in our draft meetings and listened to the background reports on a lot of our guys and you took guys off the board based on that, there would be about five or six magnets left over to pick from.
“ You have to decide – How much of this is maturity? Was it early in his college career? Is it continuing? You do as much research as you can,” he said. “The other part that is impossible to predict is when you have players that are in college and all of a sudden they come to the NFL, and now they are getting NFL paychecks and how will that affect them, and you are trying to predict that. That is why the draft is hit or miss with so many guys just because of how impossible it is to predict those things as they move forward.”
Manziel contends that he has come a long way in his personal life and admitted there is still room for growth.
“By far and away I’ve improved from a year ago,” he said. “Am I perfect? by no means, but there has been improvement all the way around for the majority of the time I have conducted myself off the field. Are there times when I know I need to be better and need to act the way I want to every second of every day?, but from where I was last year to where I am today, I am extremely proud.”
Manziel said he doesn’t feel the Browns have given up on him.
“I haven’t gotten that impression from the organization.”
Manziel did say that he wants to help the Browns win games and show what he can do at quarterback with the remainder of the season.
“We still have a quarter of the season (left),” Manziel said. “We need to win some games.“I know (the organization) wants to see what they have in me and I’m excited to play the remainder of the season.”