Johnny Manziel was named the starter for the rest of the season last week. Then, Cleveland went on a bye week. When he was named starter, and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer ran a story about it, entitled “New starter Johnny Manziel: ‘I’m not going to do anything to be an embarrassment to this organization‘.” Needless to say, this tweet caused a chuckle because it seemed like one of those things that wouldn’t take long to become relevant.
The latest video to come out doesn’t really show anything particularly incriminating or illegal, other than Manziel partying in Austin. TMZ claims that it was a two-night bender on Thursday and Friday night. According to Deadspin, the video showed up on this DJ’s instagram account. That person appears to also be in the video with Manziel, and it has since been deleted.
Of course, Manziel isn’t just anybody on a bye week. He was just named the starter. He has numerous alcohol-related incidents dating back to an arrest in college before he was ever “Johnny Football.” He went into rehab this offseason. He was apparently day drinking on a Monday with his girlfriend when a domestic incident happened.
So you can decide if these quotes, from just this last week, have any bearing:
“I let him know that I’m not going to do anything that’s going to be a distraction to this team or be an embarrassment to the organization,” [Manziel] said. “I’m going to get a chance to go and relax like everybody else in this locker room is. I don’t think they’re going to have to worry about me this week.”
“He’s done some things to affect that trust, clearly,” said Pettine. “And it’s something that we talk about. He understands it and he knows that with these expectations there comes great responsibility. That’s something that he knows he has to live up to.”
Pettine also talked about discussing with Manziel a standard of behavior to live up to. Now, was “not getting filmed partying with a champagne bottle?” one of those expectations when Manziel had just gone through rehab in the offseason? That’s what we don’t know.
Pettine will be answering questions about it. Maybe there was a miscommunication. When Manziel said he was going to relax like everyone else, he meant by partying in Austin. If the expectation was just don’t do anything illegal, then Manziel’s fine. If it was “don’t show up partying somewhere” then you have to wonder how that trust is one week after Pettine named Manziel the starter.