Johnny Manziel’s continuing issues erase the good Browns vibes from Baltimore
By Craig Lyndall
Just when you think it’s safe to say the days of “Johnny Football” are over, the ghost of the dysfunctional quarterback comes back and smacks you in the face. The Cleveland Browns won a game with Johnny Manziel earlier in the year against the Tennessee Titans and it seemed like the culmination of a year dominating headlines for rehab instead of alcoholic stints with inflatable swans. Browns fans were clamoring for Johnny to keep starting football games just a few short weeks ago and then on the Friday before the Browns were set to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos, we find out Johnny had some drinks and got into a verbal — and possibly physical — altercation with his girlfriend, while simultaneously driving erratically on the freeway. Now, all of a sudden we aren’t talking about football in the middle of the season.
It isn’t supposed to work this way for Browns fans just a couple weeks after finally showing something on the field. This isn’t the beat we were looking to march to in the storyline of Johnny Manziel rehabilitating himself and becoming a productive member of the team. It’s certainly not the storyline that Browns fans deserved this week after the team won a game on Sunday. But you don’t always get to pick the situations you’re in. You do get to pick how you react to them, so fans are left to surmise that the team might be on top of it. Yet the Browns team statement is pretty uninspiring.
We were aware of the situation. It is a matter that we take seriously and have expressed our concerns to Johnny directly. Those conversations will remain private and we will refrain from further comment at this time.
All of this occurred the Monday after a Cleveland Browns win, and that’s emblematic of the entire problem. Cleveland Browns fans were celebrating all week because the team won a game against the rival Baltimore Ravens on the road. Browns fans wanted to talk about Josh McCown and Gary Barnidge, for example. Johnny Manziel presumably celebrated by drinking during the day and then putting himself and other drivers at risk — not to mention whatever state he put his girlfriend in — the day after the game. It can’t be a situation that the team simply “take seriously.” It’s a situation that demands action by Johnny Manziel, by the football team, or both. Meanwhile the only action so far has been for the team to indicate that Manziel’s status as a backup on Sunday in downtown Cleveland remains unchanged.
I can’t sit here on the outside looking in and say what should happen. Mary Kay Cabot from the NEOMG has suggested that Manziel needs to go back to rehab, and her logic seems pretty well-founded if you follow it. Maybe she’s right. At minimum it seems like maybe Johnny Manziel shouldn’t be active for Sunday’s matchup against the Broncos so that he can understand that these kinds of incidents supersede his role as a backup quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
We’ll see if the Browns find some sense before the active roster is selected for Sunday at FirstEnergy stadium in Cleveland, but it sure seems like they’re not handling the Johnny Manziel situation appropriately just yet.
And all Cleveland sports fans wanted to talk about this week was mostly positive stuff until then. See the top stories from Waiting For Next Year this Week below.
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Cavs reportedly took $80 million offer to Tristan Thompson off the table
Gary Barnidge and how the Browns dodged the Jordan Cameron bullet
Ohio State ready for first-ever blackout
Cleveland Browns Week 5 Winners and Losers
Josh McCown impressive in Browns 33–30 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens
More focus for Flash: Josh Gordon hustling through his suspension
2015–16 Cleveland Cavaliers Season Preview
It’s more fun to win, but Browns flaws still exist
Report: Josh McCown still in Cleveland to mentor Johnny Manziel (Video)
Police: Johnny Manziel pulled over during argument with girlfriend, admits to drinking