With teammates admitting that Johnny Manziel needs to earn back some trust in the locker room, they’re at least hopeful that his recently completed stint in rehab will allow him to do just that.
“I just knew it was distracting his game,” linebacker Karlos Dansby said of Manziel’s issues, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “It wasn’t allowing him to be himself out on the field. It wasn’t allowing him to express himself the way we all have seen him play at the collegiate level.
“Whatever he was dealing with was suppressing him. So him being able to check himself in and try to get that relief, I think it was huge.”
For a quarterback who projected so much confidence in college (which was built on having success on the field), Manziel never had any swagger on the field, losing both starts and leading the Browns to just three points in six quarters as the started. But Dansby said he hoped Manziel’s willingness to check himself in was a sign the on-field maturity will follow.
“It took a lot for him to take that step, and for him to make that step shows that he’s maturing a lot as a man,” Dansby said. “And he’s growing as a person. I’m anxious to see what he does and how he comes out.
“I know it’s going to make him a better man, and that’s all I’m worried about is him being a better man at the end of the day. Everything else will take care of itself.”
The Browns are hedging their bets, by signing veteran Josh McCown and apparently working to make a move for Marcus Mariota. But Manziel’s recovery as a player is going to require work as tough as anything he did in rehab to get his life in order.