The talented quarterback has his way of finding trouble one way or another, and after his latest moment of idiosyncrasy, the youngster has been benched by the Browns during the team’s bye week.
Browns coach Mike Pettine has had enough of his young quarterback, and after giving the polarizing QB enough chances to get his act right, has decided to bench him following another episode of his off-field behavior. The move could well signal an end to Manziel’s days with the team.
Speaking with reporters, Pettine revealed that Josh McCown is set to start Monday night’s game against Baltimore in place of Manziel who was only recently given the starting job.
The benching comes in the wake of a video of the youngster holding a bottle of champagne and rapping profane lyrics last weekend in a nightclub in Austin, Texas.
Before the video surfaced, Manziel had promised his team that he would not bring it any future embarrassment, but it appears that the 22-year-old cannot help but keep letting down his team and his coach, who has been supportive of Manziel in the past.
A very disappointed Pettine said that although Manziel showed a lot of improvement from last year, he is struggling with consistency.
“Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard,” Pettine said.
“The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous, but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level,” he said. “It goes well beyond the field.”
And it is clear that Manziel will not be a backup to McCown either, with Pettine deciding to keep him below Austin Davis on the depth chart.
On Tuesday, Pettine had a brief chat with Manziel to inform him of his choice to put him on the bench for the foreseeable future. Although Pettine’s future at the club is also under scrutiny, the head coach has the backing of owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager Ray Farmer who support his decision.
Manziel has made a lot of progress on the field in his second NFL season, but despite stating that he has learned from all the mistakes he made in the past, it is clear that his demons have not left him, with the youngster always tiptoeing close to danger.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner spent 70 days during the offseason in a rehab facility specializing in alcohol and drug treatment but has not shown the type of maturity that is expected of a quarterback, regardless of his age.
The video is not really a shocking episode in all honesty, since Manziel arrived in the NFL with a reputation for enjoying his free time. This time around though, Cleveland chose not to go easy on him. Pettine stated that player development is not just confined to the gridiron.
“You have a vision of what you want the team to look like, how you want them to handle themselves when they’re out of the building,” Pettine said. “It’s not just pure football here, it’s truly player development on and off the field.”
McCown, on other other hand, has not given up on the teammate and says that he is not going to count Manziel out of anything.
“It’s a work in progress. But I feel like I always see and believe the good in people. There’s some youth involved in some of the decision making that might not be the best, but I certainly don’t count him out by any stretch.”