Johnny Manziel ‘surprised’ Vegas trip was a story, plans to live life ‘to the fullest’
Johnny Manziel was back at Cleveland Browns headquarters in Barea, Ohio on Wednesday to take part an OTAs. Not surprisingly, the topic of his Las Vegas sojourn over the long Memorial Day weekend became a primary topic of conversation when he met with reporters.
“I’m very surprised it’s actually a story,” Manziel said after reportedly looking sharp during drills, according to a USA Today report.
Manziel was spotted making the scene in Vegas but not appearing to be overdoing it at all, hanging with, among others, the likes of none other than New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (above), an individual who knows all about having one’s comings and goings at nightlife hotspots chronicled on social media.
The fervor in the coverage and the subsequent backlash by some prompted Manziel to take to social media to defend his holiday weekend getaway.
Along with the photo, Manziel writes, “Guess it’s impossible to enjoy the weekend and study?”
The fact that Manziel looked great at OTAs is a good indication that he is working hard behind the scenes. Both Manziel and Browns head coach Mike Pettine commented on that very thing on Wednesday.
Pettite told USA Today that the rookie quarterback informed him of the Vegas plans before embarking on the vacation and praised Manziel for how the young signal-caller handled things.
“I thought he handled it very well,” Pettine said. “He said it was a trip he already had planned. … He’s been great. He’s in the playbook. Now if he was out doing something illegal we’d have an issue.
“That just comes with the territory of who he is. … I think he handled it very well, very maturely.
“I know he had his iPad with him. And I know he wasn’t using it as a coaster.”
Manziel also argued that he’s working diligently to make the transition from the college game to the NFL.
“I’ve been in here every day working extremely hard trying to earn my place and do what I need to do,” Manziel said. “For me to get a free weekend, and get to spend some time with friends and family of mine, and just have fun and relax and get away from the grind a little bit and then come back to work and do what I’m supposed to do — I don’t really feel that’s a story.
Given his legendary history as Johnny Football, Manziel understands that the under-the-microscope parsing of everything he does both on and off the field and the ensuing over-examination that follows comes with the territory and he’s grown accustomed to it.
“I knew going into it, I can’t go anywhere without people knowing that I’m there,” he said. “I’m used to it by now. Fair or unfair, whatever it may be, that’s my life.
“I don’t live my life according to you guys. I’m going to continue to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game and trying to earn my place in this locker room with these coaches with this organization. If I want to go out and have some fun — and it doesn’t hinder what my main goals in life are — then I really don’t care what anybody has to say.”
L-I-V-I-N … that’s what Manziel is going to do, folks. Despite the naysayers and nattering nabobs of negativity, Johnny Football is going to keep it rolling, both on the gridiron and the classroom and practice field, but away from the game as well. You better recognize.
But all kidding aside, Manziel makes some excellent points. Further, as long as the Browns organization is happy with him — and as Pettite noted, it wasn’t like Manziel was doing anything illegal. The kid was just having a good time and enjoying himself like any other well-off 21-year-old would do if able, so where’s the story?
The story will develop when the Browns, if and when it ever occurs, grows weary of having to answer questions about their supposed franchise saver’s off-the-field antics and activities. Until then, it’s between Manziel, the Browns, and anyone the quarterback interacts with while out and about who has a camera phone and a social media account. Which I guess is pretty much everyone these days.