Browns limiting media access to rookie minicamp


The Browns traded up from the 26th pick to the 22nd pick to draft Johnny Manziel last week, a move that generated enough excitement in Cleveland that they sold more than 1,000 season tickets in the day after Manziel joined the team.

For a franchise that has had little to be excited about since rejoining the league in 1999, that kind of enthusiasm would seem to be welcomed. The same could be said of the money that comes from selling No. 2 jerseys like the one LeBron James sported after Manziel was drafted, but the Browns want to limit how much of Manziel the world gets to see.

Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reports that the Browns told him not to bother coming to cover the team’s rookie minicamp because they were limiting media access to local writers. NFL rules allow teams to make their own decisions about media access to rookie minicamps, but they must allow media to attend the mandatory veteran minicamp later in the offseason.

“We don’t want this to be a Tebow situation. It’s not going to be Johnny Football Mania out there,” a Browns spokesman told Hubbuch.

You can understand the idea of limiting the focus on Manziel while the team is insisting that he act like a backup quarterback and owner Jimmy Haslam is delivering what has to be the first reminder in history that Cleveland is not Hollywood, but the Browns are going to have to embrace the mania at some point if Manziel becomes the player they want him to be. If they’re not willing to do that, they probably shouldn’t have drafted Johnny Football in the first place.

52 responses to “Browns limiting media access to rookie minicamp

  1. Entirely foreseeable that wherever Manziel went there was going to be a media circus of Tebow proportions. Browns are wise to manage that carefully until Johnny becomes as good an NFL player as he was in college. Otherwise it’ll just be a huge, unnecessary and unwarranted distraction.

  2. All this makes sense. Remember, when Joe Bummer and Mike Dumbturdi ran the show, it was Fantasyland. Both were pretending to be competent, engaged, NFL executives. But they didn’t fool anybody. So Haslam doesn’t want a rerun as the rookies pretend to by NFL vets!

  3. I don’t think the Browns are wrong by limiting the media access to a ROOKIE MINICAMP. It’s the kids 1st practice. Give him some room. Having said that I’m sure they’ll get killed for it by the media.

  4. Not a good move. If I’m the lowly Browns and play in a stadium known as the Factory of Sadness, I want any positive news, as soon as possible, coming from my team. Haslam needs to go back to the truck stop and let his GM do the talking. Why is the owner already relegating Manziel to backup? Where is his scouting pedigree? What has Hoyer done to earn the job? He’s hit a winner finally and is doing all he can to make the least of it.

  5. Smart move, by the browns. They want to set the tone early that it’s not all about Johnny Cleveland just yet. Manziel Mania will be running wild soon enough. Whatcha gonna do Stealers, Ben Gals, and Ratbirds, when Johnny Mania, and his 18″ pythons go wild on you?? Brother

  6. I always thought the expression was “there’s no such thing as bad press” not “let’s limit the exposure and act like we don’t like the attention on one hand, yet raise the ticket prices and be happy we’ve got the highest selling rookie jersey on the other”

  7. Don’t worry the media will have plenty of time to talk with Sam after he gets cut and no one picks him up. Ultimately this will come back to football and there’s a reason he was available in the 7th.

  8. The media frenzy is one thing. But I would think every team would want all their players to act like starters and get in that mindset.

  9. I didn’t hear anyone insisting that he act like a backup. Haslam said that Hoyer was the starter going into camp and Manziel would be the backup. If he beats out Hoyer,good on him,if not,sit back and watch from a guy who has at leas been in the league for a while.

  10. The Browns have no trouble selling tickets or jerseys. They drafted Manziel because they honestly believe he can be a franchise quarterback. Right or wrong, creating a “media mania” was never their goal.

  11. I can ‘t imagine Johnny (and Maverick Carter, LeBron, Nike, Samsung, etc) appreciate it. Johnny is bigger than the modern day Browns. I guarantee this doesn’t sit well with the Manziel camp. It’s not how they roll. Johnny takes over. It’s Johnny’s world and you’ll have to stand in line and pay for his autograph. He pushed his head coach out of the way during a game at aTm. He’s gonna rebel and walk all over these bums.

    And PS – Jimmy the Crook makes me want to puke when he talks. #norespect

  12. Spoken like a true member of the media… Nobody wants a circus at their football practice. They are installing offense and defense for rookies, not creating press conferences for some reporter from New York. The Jets are having a camp too?

  13. Browns are just as dysfunctional now as they have ever been! I was actually happy for them when they drafted Johnny Football. Then the “goofy under investigation for breaking the law” Haslam douses all the good by acting like an immature control freak. Ha Ha! What a joke! Jerry Jones should have taken Johnny at 16. Jerry loves lots of attention and Johnny loves attention. It would have been the perfect match. Geaux Saints!

  14. They are smart to learn from Tebowmania. It does affect the product on the field. Tebow would have had a shot at at journeyman backup career if it wasn’t for the circus.

  15. Hard to argue with anything the Browns do. Model franchise with long history of success and admiration around the league.

  16. Not that the Browns don’t make most of their own messes, but the media does tend to make mountains out of mole hills. Remember how they got blasted for tanking the season after the TRich trade. Doesn’t look so bad after last year now does it? Good move by the Brownies for keeping the media away as much as possible.

  17. Maybe that reminder is necessary in Ohio – Sam Wyche had to remind people they were in Cincinnati and not Cleveland…

  18. If the crowd gets to big, they can always bus them down to the other circus event in St Louis

  19. Not that the Browns don’t make most of their own messes, but the media does tend to make mountains out of mole hills. Remember how they got blasted for tanking the season after the TRich trade. Doesn’t look so bad after last year now does it? Good move by the Brownies for keeping the media away as much as possible.

    5 0
    congrats… one good trade in 15 years..2 if you include the Bills trade.
    I for one can not wait to see next years roster with Manziel and Jameis WInston…

  20. Good! Watching the draft, and the constant drum beating for Manziel was annoying. He will get attention, regardless. Plus, keeping Bart Hubbuch away is always a good idea. Great Job, Browns.

  21. Its not Hollywood? Tell Hollywood that. They keep making movies there (Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Draft Day ………)

  22. Don’t worry, media. You don’t need to be there to unrepentantly force this product (Manziel) down NFL fans’ throats.

  23. I’m pretty sure Johnny knows how to handle media at this point but after all the QB failures they have had I don’t blame them. They might as well put him in a bubble.

  24. Not sure if good or bad. Browns knew what they were getting with Manziel, trying to quash that may have ill effects. But, they want him to focus on football, not being a celebrity so perhaps they are correct on this. Plus, if you limit the media, they will clamor for JFF.

  25. Manziel will be so media starved he’ll do something crazy just to get the attention he so desperately seeks. He’s like the pseudo celebrities who tip off the paparazzi that they’ll be at a certain restaurant, then act “surprised” the photogs are there.

  26. Maybe they don’t want people to see Johnny getting drunk or being late for having a hangover.

    The Browns know it’s all about Johnny and they can’t stop the media. If they can’t print what they know, they will print what they think or what’s been leaked.

    All this noise about what has Johnny done, is crazy. This guy is the poster child for the self-centered modern jock. As Harrison Barnes, while at UNC said, he’s trying to build his BRAND.

    So Johnny is about MARKETING and football comes next. It’s a failed strategy. Making it appear that your BRAND is more important than your sport, NEVER works out.

  27. The media circus only comes to town when you put yourself in a situation that calls for it. This organization really is cursed. I know, I know, thumbs down Browns fans. Can’t expect you to see the forest from the trees.

  28. Winning will feed Manziel Mania enough!

    Let’s get the rookie to a point where he can actually excel and be productive, without all the distractions.

    You guys think Cleveland is clueless, I actually think they have a clue right now. Everyone will get their glimpse of Manziel soon enough…

  29. The world is so small now regarding media coverage. You don’t think that anything that happens in that rookie mini camp won’t go viral? Sounds like the New York Post is butthurt that they can’t send someone to Cleveland to report things in their (outside of NYC) irrevelant publication…

    This just means more national media time for the Mary Kay Cabots and Aaron Goldhammers of the world to pass along stories from camp. I’d be shocked if Sal Pal from the four letter network isn’t standing on the sidewalk at 76 Lou Groza Blvd. reporting from Berea.

  30. I think back to the Cabbage Patch Dolls. Those ugly little things wouldn’t sell until the manufacturer created a “shortage” of them. Suddenly, everyone had to have one, paying hundreds of dollars for one. There were even crimes committed over getting your hands on one. Now, they’re crap again.

    Same with JF. The marketing whizards in Browns Stadium know what they’re doing. They have a plan in place to maximize their return on this guy. They’ll tease the media with him, whetting our appetites even more. These billionaire owners aren’t stupid.

  31. Browns should concentrate on football so I agree on the deicision. Still I am laying my chips on Connor Shaw, I think Manziel and Hoyer will eventually be looking over his shoulder!! I know bold statement, but I truly believe it!!

  32. Good call by the Browns. The New York media has all kinds of new QB’s on the Jets to bash. Why would ANY TEAM outside of New Jersey want them hovering over their rookies?

  33. Browns spokesman: “It’s not going to be Johnny Football Mania out there,” …

    … too late !

    This thing (Johnny Football) is bigger than what some team spokeman says. The desire by Browns fans for this to work, is on par to when Brett Favre came to the Packers back in ’92 – after we had many years of mediocrity in Green Bay.

    I for one hopes it works out for the Browns – this is too great of a football organization and their great fans for it not to !

  34. People buying season tickets because of Johnny Manziel are going to expect to see him play. If the Browns don’t start him, it’s going to turn into a circus when (not if) they are losing games.

    They’re rebuilding and Manziel is a development project. They need an old vet to lead the way for a season or two.

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