Before the draft, Johnny Football was all about football, working out and studying and spending every waking moment getting himself ready to be as attractive as he possibly could be for an NFL team.
After the draft, Johnny Football became Johnny Vegas and Johnny Bieber and Johnny Rolled-Up-Hundy and everything but a guy who was all about football. That supposedly was going to change once training camp opened, with Manziel buckling down and focusing on becoming the best football player he can be.
And so on the night before the first day off at training camp, Manziel reportedly was spotted at a bar roughly two miles from the team’s headquarters, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
As Ulrich points out, the behavior goes against the notion that “Work Hard, Play Harder” would yield to “Work Hard, Work Harder” once camp opened. It also contradicts the prediction of former Texas A&M teammate Mike Evans.
“In training camp, I don’t think he’ll go out at all,” Evans said in June. “He’ll be committed and devoted and fighting for a starting job.”
The photo posted online at BustedCoverage.com shows nothing controversial or even all that interesting. It’s a dude at a bar with a “crap, I think someone may be taking my picture with a camera phone” look on his face.
It’s only an issue because Manziel’s lifestyle and the team’s evolving reaction to it — from “we don’t care” to “tone it down” to “we’re alarmed” — creates a potential connection between Manziel’s actions away from the field and the Browns’ willingness to allow him to take the field in games that count. Especially with most of the organization seemingly ready to drive Brian Hoyer down to Canton this weekend for inclusion in the new class of Hall of Famers.