CLEVELAND—If there is one thing that Mike Pettine might not miss if he is fired is questions about Johnny Manziel.
In what could be his final press conference, Pettine was asked about Manziel, who was reported by USA Today to be in Las Vegas on Saturday at the Plant Hollywood casino.
When asked if Manziel was in Las Vegas, Pettine laughed.
“I don’t know. I wasn’t,” he said laughing. “To me, when guys are – we have a protocol for them if they’re inactive. I don’t have all of the information on that yet, but my biggest concern was the guys that we’re going to be out there today getting prepared for the Steelers.”
Pettine was asked if Manziel, who was inactive, was required to be at the game on Sunday. Manziel entered the NFL concussion protocol on Wednesday.
“The guys in the concussion protocol are not [required],” he said. “They can be in the stadium, but they’re not required. They’re not permitted to be on the sideline.”
Pettine wasn’t aware if players in the NFL concussion protocol are even allowed to travel.
“That I don’t know,” he said. “I have to get with (head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan. This is the first I’ve heard of an example like this.”
Pettine said if Manziel was in Las Vegas, he would be very disappointed in him with all that has transpired this season.
“Let me gather the information on it,” he said. “It would be disappointing. I’ll leave it at that: disappointing.”
Pettine said despite Manziel’s issues, he thinks the Browns quarterbacks, especially Josh McCown, have not been the problem this season.
“I see where you are going,” Pettine said. “(Manziel’s) issues have been well documented. You say, mess. Can I say, work in progress? If you look at our season and what I just said, we have gotten great production and some damn good leadership from that room. “That started with the signing of Josh McCown,” he said. “He has been outstanding. He was our starter. He got hurt, Johnny stepped in and I thought Austin (Davis) did some good things, too, under some tough circumstances. I get it, but I am not going to sit here and use an excuse that just because we drafted a quarterback high and he is maybe not where he ideally should be that it was the downfall of what happened here or that was the reason.”