Browns Coach Mike Pettine Comments on Johnny Manziel's Lifestyle and Work Ethic

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2014

USA Today

New Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine continues to downplay the impact of Johnny Manziel's off-field activities as the team prepares to open training camp.

Pat McManamon of ESPN passed along comments from the first-time NFL head coach, who admitted the group of celebrities Manziel hangs with is not typical of an average player. Yet, the things he's done during the offseason are pretty standard.

"It's something that was a hot topic for the offseason just because of who he is," Pettine said. "It's a very unique thing. I don't think he can get a handle on the why. Is his behavior that much different form [sic] the average NFL player?"

Manziel first became a superstar during his collegiate career at Texas A&M because of his success on the field, highlighted by winning a Heisman Trophy. With that comes increased scrutiny, and for him it came in the form of criticism about his off-field flair.

So the fact he spent his free time during the offseason traveling and partying with some big names from the entertainment world certainly shouldn't have come as a surprise to the Browns. Judging by Pettine's remarks, it wasn't.

Alas, given the hoopla that surrounds him, his every move still became a big story. All of the talk about the things he wasn't doing to prepare for his rookie season prompted Manziel to post a picture on Instagram with the caption: "Guess it's impossible to enjoy the weekend and study?"

Pettine went on to tell ESPN that there have been absolutely no issues with the rookie quarterback when he's been with the team. He also explained what it would take for his off-field actions to become a problem within the organization:

He's been very humble. He's been great in the meeting rooms. Worked hard. Worked hard in the weight room; one of the best guys in the weight room. Asked the right questions. I think he's ahead of the learning curve.

We always say, if we see it start to affect his job, then I think there would be much more of a cause for concern.

Pettine also told's Mary Kay Cabot that he spoke to Manziel about a controversial photo revealed earlier this summer that showed the quarterback rolling a $20 bill at a bathroom sink. 

"I don't want to get into a (public) discussion of every picture that comes out, but I talked to him about it," Pettine said. "We anticipate this will quiet down once the season starts. As committed as Johnny is to football, this stuff should not be an issue once camp gets underway."

Kolten Parker of the San Antonio Express-News provides a look at the image in question:

With Browns rookies set to report to training camp on Wednesday and veterans due in by week's end, it won't take long before Manziel's progress in terms of learning the playbook is on display. That's the most important thing to the coaches.

One thing's for sure: He's brought some star power and excitement to Cleveland. The NFL on ESPN passed along the rankings for jerseys sold since the draft with Manziel on top:

Ultimately, if Manziel lives up to the "Johnny Football" hype, the Browns won't have any issue with what he does on his off days. He's got plenty of work to do, however, starting with a camp battle with Brian Hoyer for the starting job.

Hoyer might get the nod out of the gate to take some of the pressure off Manziel. He flashed some strong play during a brief stint as the starter last season before getting hurt. It gives him the inside edge on being the Week 1 starter.

That said, it would be a surprise if Manziel doesn't take over at some point during the regular season. Playing well to take away some of the doubters' talking points will be added motivation whenever he does get his chance.