As he begins his first NFL training camp after an offseason filled with chatter about his off-field habits, Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel admitted Friday he has made some “rookie mistakes” early in his pro career.
However, the Browns’ first-round pick also made it clear he doesn’t see a problem having a good time once in a while.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me going out and having a nightlife and having a social life,” Manziel said at a press conference. “I mean, I am 21 years old, and I do like going out.
“It was the offseason. It’s free time for us, and if I want to go out and hang out with my friends or go to nightclubs or do things like that, then I think that’s within my rights to being doing that, and I think there’s other guys throughout the league that are going that. And I’m not trying to compare myself to anybody else, but I think that’s within my rights to be doing that.”
While not specifically addressing what he considered to be missteps, Manziel noted he had communicated with coach Mike Pettine and G.M. Ray Farmer and that all was well entering camp.
“Me and Coach Pettine and Ray Farmer have really talked about a lot of things that have transpired over the course of the offseason, and for me, my main thing is, people within this building, my teammates, coaching staff, the higher-ups in this organization, we’ve all been on the same page, we’ve all been good, and very eager to be moving forward,” Manziel said.
Of his “rookie mistakes,” Manziel said: “There’s some things I wish I could have gone back and done a little differently, but (I’m) continuing to move forward and try to represent this organization and this team in a positive manner and in a positive light.”
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner added he was “just very excited to be back in camp, when it’s football 24-7. That’s what I love doing, that’s what I live for, and it’s what my job is.”
As to be expected, Manziel was asked early in his press conference about the controversial photo of him appearing to roll a dollar bill.
“I’ve talked about that with Coach Pettine,” Manziel said. “I’ve talked about it with Ray Farmer and the people that I need to talk about that with. And moving forward, they’re good with everything, and I’ve told them everything that I need to, and everything’s been good.”
Manziel’s remarks came on the same day that the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported some in the Browns’ organization were “alarmed” by a few of the rookie quarterback’s off-field actions in the offseason.
The Browns’ first training camp practice is Saturday.