The Browns have managed to keep a muzzle, for the most part, on quarterback Johnny Manziel. On Friday, however, the media on Friday had a crack at Manziel during the Rookie Symposium.
And it gave Manziel a chance to take a crack at those who have been cracking on him.
“I’m not going to change for anybody,” Manziel said Friday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’m going to enjoy my time off.”
That’s a strong statement, especially since “anybody” includes his head coach and any veteran teammate who may advise him to tone it down. For now, coach Mike Pettine doesn’t seem to have an issue with the “work hard, play harder” approach. It’s unclear whether his teammates have an issue with it, and whether Manziel will care if they do.
His teammates definitely have a concern about Manziel mania. The quarterback said his teammates are “tired of the hype” and sick of the questions about Manziel’s off-field behavior.
Of course, the hype will die down and the questions about Manziel’s antics will evaporate like a puddle of sprayed champagne if he quits doing things like, you know, spraying champagne. He either doesn’t realize the connection, or he doesn’t care.
He definitely doesn’t care to talk about the things he already has done. Per Cabot, Manziel refused to talk about the notorious “money phone” routine, explaining that “I’m not going to address something that’s in the past.”
We’ve been down this Rafiki rabbit hole before with Bill Polian and his “past is prologue” nonsense after the Colts lost Super Bowl XLIV. Under that standard, no one would ever talked about anything that has already occurred, because “that’s in the past.”
For Manziel, the concern should be the future. While the Browns and his teammates may not care about things that happen off the field, if Manziel sprays champagne on someone who doesn’t want to have champagne sprayed on him and the guy shoves Manziel in response and Manziel, with judgment impaired by the former contents of the champagne bottle and possibly other bottles of other beverages, swings the bottle and cold cocks the dude in the head, the NFL and/or the appropriate authorities definitely will care.