Teammate: Manziel was a “100 percent joke” as a rookie
So why aren’t the Browns declaring Johnny Manziel to be the team’s franchise quarterback? Based on a new report from ESPN.com, the reasons are plentiful.
The article from Jeremy Fowler and Patrick McManamon paints Manziel as being everything that it was feared he’d be, and worse. Based on interviews with 20 Browns sources, they’ve concluded that Manziel engaged in a “year-long pattern that showed a lack of commitment and preparation, a failure to be ready when given a chance in his first start against Cincinnati and a continued commitment to nightlife, which affected his preparation and work while in the team facility.”
As one unnamed player told ESPN.com, Manziel’s rookie year was a “100 percent joke.”
Last year at this time, Manziel was all about football, stubbornly refusing media requests as he stayed out of the limelight and (supposedly) focused on getting drafted as high as he could. Ultimately, it was an Eddie Haskell routine that the Browns should have spotted.
“During the draft process, not one person interviewed by the team said he was going to grow up,” a source directly involved in the drafting of Manziel told ESPN.com. “You can’t blame Johnny. This is who he is. The team knew that.”
(At the risk of being perceived as outing someone’s source, we can’t be the only ones who wonder whether that quote came from former Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, or from former Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.)
It came to a head for the Browns on the final weekend of the regular season, when he didn’t show up at the facility on Saturday morning for treatment. Per the report, team security went to Manziel’s apartment and found the player “drunk off his ass.” The team put out the word that he was “late” for treatment on an injured hamstring; per the report, players didn’t see him at all until it was time to fly to Baltimore for the regular-season finale.
As a result, it should be no surprise that the Browns currently aren’t ready to proclaim Manziel the starter for 2015. Unless he dramatically changes his ways, he may never be the starter, for the Browns or anyone else.