Browns owner on Johnny Manziel: 'We expect better from him'
On Saturday, after the Browns' first training camp practice, team owner Jimmy Haslam weighed in on Johnny Manziel's off-field comings and goings.
First, the Browns were reportedly "stunned" by Johnny Manziel's nonstop partying. Days later, Manziel, the team's 2014 first-round pick, told reporters his off-field activities wouldn't affect his ability to win a starting job.
On Saturday, after the Browns' first training camp practice, team owner Jimmy Haslam weighed in on the matter.
"I don't want to wear this subject out,'' he said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. "Johnny said it himself. He made some mistakes. We expect better from him. I'm sure he'll perform now. We're anxious to see what he can do on the field, which is what really counts."
Asked whether Manziel had learned his lesson about taking his job seriously, Haslam said, "We'll see."
Manziel's response to Haslam's "we'll see" attitude about his rookie quarterback?
"Here's the thing I want to say,'' Manziel began. "The reason that I'm popular or the reason people follow me and there's been such a buzz around me is that when I went out on Saturdays at Texas A&M, I played with an extreme amount of passion and I played with my heart on my sleeve.
"But more than anything, I had fun. I have fun playing this game. I have fun going out on this field playing football. It's what I live for, it's what I do. Same way off the field, whether I'm going out and playing golf or going out and having a night life, whatever it is, I have a lot of fun. That's what my life is and luckily for me, I'm living out my dream of playing in the NFL and having a ton of fun.
"My dream has come true and finally I got some time to get some down time and celebrate that with my family and friends. This is the greatest life that I could have ever imagined for me and I'm loving that. So will I continue to get better at being a professional and learn lessons about life? Of course.
"I'm 21 years old and age is not an excuse, but I need to mature and I have done some immature things but moving forward I'm going to try and mature and get better and handle myself better as a professional that's really all I can say about that.
"But my life is incredible. I'm blessed to be in this position and I'm going to have fun each and every day, whether it's practice, whether it's training camp, whether it's during the season and going out and playing the game, which will be even better or it's going out in the offseason and playing golf or hanging out with my family. Life's fun and enjoy it while it's here."
So there you have it: Johnny Football is all about having fun. How this could be news to the Browns now, months after the team traded up into the first round to draft him, is another matter. But as we've written countless times in recent months: If Manziel wins, all the hemming and hawing about his off-field antics will be long forgotten.
And if he doesn't win? Then, like the Browns' two previous franchise quarterbacks taken with the No. 22 pick -- Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden -- Manziel will be unceremoniously run out of town.
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