The former Heisman Trophy winner's first NFL season left plenty to be desired, with a 0-2 record in a pair of starts with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His off-field activities were highly scrutinized, and his seemingly incessant partying "alarmed" the Browns organization, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The team also disciplined him late in the year for being tardy to a treatment session on his hamstring.
Manziel subsequently went through rehab, and now it is incumbent upon him to prove that he has made strides both personally and professionally.
CBS Sports' Will Brinson applauded Manziel's efforts this offseason:
Browns safety Donte Whitner is among those who believe he will do precisely that, per NFL.com's Nick Shook:
Nobody knew the actual things that were going on in his life but him and his family. So I commend him to be so young and take the initiative and do what he did.
It can only help him as a person first and foremost, and then as a football player. I believe that he'll come in, he'll earn our trust back, he's that type of guy, he'll have to compete for his job and I believe he'll be up for that challenge.
The lead-up to the 2015 season could say a lot about Manziel's progress, as he figures to have an opportunity to vie for the starting job with veteran Josh McCown.
Johnny Football may have an uphill climb after making a poor first impression, but if the stint in rehab was successful, then perhaps he'll be able to change the perception that so many have of him.
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