Browns head coach Mike Pettine was asked today after practice if Johnny Manziel makes him aware of his weekend plans:
“No, because I told him I didn’t feel like he had to come to me every time he was going to leave town. The philosophy here is we’re not going to micromanage the guys. I was involved in an event this weekend that if there were some cameras at certain times, it probably wouldn’t have been the most flattering. It was a group of coaches out. We had a good time, but we were responsible. When it becomes irresponsible or becomes part of something that involves breaking the law or something that we feel is a potential problem, we’ll step in. (Browns player engagement director) Jamil Northcutt does a great job and (Browns player engagement assistant) Russell Maryland with the rookie programs educating those guys. We’re going to bring in speakers for those, not just the rookies, but the whole team just to kind of talk about all the potential issues off the field – everything from financial issues to drugs to alcohol to try to do our best to educate those guys so they make great choices when they’re out of the building.”
I have been saying the exact same thing for weeks now and I’m happy to hear Pettine say it as well. The Browns, fans and media should be more worried about what Josh Gordon does away from the field and not Johnny Manziel. Gordon has been in trouble with the league and the law. Johnny Manziel has not.
Kudos to coach Pettine. If Manziel’s off the field extracuricular activities affect him as a player or they become a problem for the team, then the Browns should and will step in and say something or do something. But until that happens, to me, and it sounds like for Mike Pettine and the Browns, what Johnny Football has done off the field on his free weekends hasn’t been a problem.