Johnny Manziel’s off-field antics have not escaped the attention of Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine.
In an interview with Cleveland.com, Pettine confirmed that he had spoken with Manziel about his attention-grabbing behavior this offseason. Manziel has drawn criticism for his partying this summer, particularly after a photo surfaced in which Manziel appeared to be rolling a $20 bill at a bathroom sink in Las Vegas.
Pettine declined to discuss the specifics of his conversation with Manziel. “I don't want to get into a [public] discussion of every picture that comes out, but I talked to him about it,” he 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.”
The Browns head coach also addressed a similar incident -- a viral video in which drunk-seeming Manziel treated a stack of cash as a “money phone.”
“I haven’t verified it, but somebody told me that [the 'money phone'] wasn’t recent,” Pettine said. He added that Manziel’s partying would only become a problem if it extended into the season.
At least one of Manziel’s new teammates believes that he should tone done his off-field behavior. All-Pro cornerback Joe Haden told an ESPN Cleveland radio show in June that the rookie quarterback “needs to check his friends a little bit.”
"Everybody is going to go out and have a good time," Haden said. "You gotta make sure when you're with your people, it just doesn't get out. He's going to have a good time, but a lot of things need to be taken away. You need to have a phone valet -- tell your friends to put your phones away. We're going to go out but don't record."
Still, the Browns haven’t ruled out the possibility that Manziel will emerge as the team’s starting quarterback by the start of the NFL season in September. The 21-year-old will enter an “open” competition with veteran Brian Hoyer at training camp, Pettine said.
"Brian will be the guy there day one of practice. But we're going to let them compete as best we can. We don't want to overtax the offensive line and we want to mix and match the groups and we're going to have a plan for it. We are going to have a sense of when we want to name the starter.”