Pettine disappointed, may bench Manziel
BEREA, Ohio (AP) Johnny Manziel may have partied his way out of a starting job.
Browns coach Mike Pettine expressed Tuesday that he’s disappointed with Manziel’s off-field behavior and would not guarantee the quarterback would play Monday night against Baltimore.
After Manziel promised he would not embarrass the Browns during their bye week, a video and photos of him partying in Texas last weekend surfaced Monday. Pettine said he had seen the video and spoken to Manziel, who spent 70 days during the offseason in a rehab facility specializing in treatment for alcohol and drug addiction.
”Disappointing – very,” Pettine said following practice. ”I can’t stand here and say it’s not – whatever word we want to use – disappointing, frustrating.”
Pettine only named Manziel as Cleveland’s starter for the remaining six games last week, selecting to play him ahead of veteran Josh McCown, who has been slowed by injuries. The Browns wanted to use the rest of this season to get a longer look at Manziel, the former first-round pick who has shown some progress in his second season.
Before the Browns went their separate ways last week, Manziel said he would use the time off to ”relax.” Pettine had talked to him about using the down time wisely and Manziel said ”I don’t think they’re going to have to worry about me this week.”
But on Monday, video emerged of the quarterback holding a bottle of champagne while rapping at a nightclub in Austin, Texas. Pettine said he was still gathering information about the video before he makes a decision on Manziel’s playing status.
Pettine said he would meet with his assistants and Manziel to discuss the team’s plans.
If Manziel is benched, McCown would start against the Ravens. The 36-year-old said his ribs have healed.
”I’ll be ready to go,” McCown said.
Pettine has spoken to owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager Ray Farmer about Manziel’s troubling conduct. The team has been previously supportive of Manziel, who last week was cleared by the NFL after the league investigated whether he violated its personal conduct policy during a recent domestic incident.
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