Report: Some of Johnny Manziel’s teammates shunned him during pregame intros
According to the accounting of events from FOX Sports’ Pam Oliver, some of Johnny Manziel’s Cleveland Browns teammates refused to high-five the rookie quarterback or acknowledge him during pregame introductions ahead of the team’s game last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Oliver, who worked the game as sideline reporter for the FOX broadcast, reported her observations during the CBS Sports Network show “We Need to Talk,” speculating that the seemingly knee-jerk decision by Browns head coach Mike Pettine to replace Brian Hoyer with the raw and inexperienced Manziel didn’t sit well with some players on the team.
“Mike Pettine, when he was debating about Brian Hoyer, he said all the right things about how (the Browns) were winning with him,” Oliver said on the program. “To make that flip flop to Manziel – I don’t think (Manziel’s) teammates have embraced him just yet. I was watching the introduction line with the pyrotechnics and all of that, and everybody runs through (their teammates). He was the last one to go. Some people kept their hands to themselves (and didn’t acknowledge him).”
As noted by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, Manziel was not the last player to run out during intros and was in the middle of the pack. Cabot states her reviewing of the tape shows at least some teammates slapping Manziel’s hand.
A request for comment from FOX Sports by the Plain-Dealer was not immediately returned at the time of filing of Cabot’s report.
Manziel of course had a horrific performance in his debut, going 10-of-18 passing for only 80 yards to go along with two interceptions in a 30-0 blowout loss to the division rival Bengals.
Heading into the game, many of Manziel’s teammates last week expressed optimism that the electric rookie may be just what the struggling Browns offense needed to get things back on track.
Head coach Mike Pettine said last week that he was excited to see Manziel and what he could do, saying, “I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t excited to see him play.”
Despite the rookie’s struggles, Manziel reportedly once again will be under center for Cleveland’s game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Despite saying after the game Sunday that Manziel “didn’t play well” and looked like a rookie, played like a rookie,” Pettine, when asked if Manziel would remain the team’s starter, simply stated, “Yes.”
(photo credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)