Johnny Manziel believes there is nothing wrong with having fun during his offseason time.
BEREA, Ohio -- Since being selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has made headlines for his offseason activities, including poolside and nightclub parties in Las Vegas, and being photographed rolling up a $20 bill in a bathroom.
And while Manziel said he was "very, very excited" to be back to the business of football, he made no apologies for his off-the-field ways when addressing the media following his conditioning test ahead of training camp on Friday.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with me going out and having a night life, having a social life," Manziel said. "I mean, I am 21 years old, and I do like going out. It was the offseason. It's free time for us, and if I want to go out and hang out with my friends, go out to nightclubs or things like that, I think that's within my rights to be doing that.
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"I think there's other guys in the league that are doing that. I'm not trying to compare myself to anybody else, but I think that's what's within my rights."
While there were no apologies for his offseason adventures, Manziel admitted that after reporting to the Browns' training facility with the other rookies on Wednesday, he had a meeting with coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer to discuss the off-the-field exploits.
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"There are definitely things I can do moving forward that will help me better act as a professional," Manziel said. "At the same time, I'm still learning how to do that. I'm still getting used to that role, still getting used to this league, still getting used to being a pro football player. I'm not in college anymore. There's things I need to do better, and that's just part of being a professional. Hopefully, as time goes on, I'll get better at doing that.
"At the end of the day, I've made some rookie mistakes. There's some things I wish I could've gone back and done a little differently, but I'm continuing to move forward and try to represent this organization, this team in a positive manner, a positive light. I'm very excited to be back in camp. It's football, 24-7. It's what I love doing. It's what I live for, and it's what my job is. I'm very excited to be back and can't wait to get this thing underway."
Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden believes Manziel's partying ways will stop now that the season has begun.
"I think that knowing that it's training camp time and what training camp brings, Johnny knows what's about to happen," Haden said. "You don't really get any time to yourself. You don't get an opportunity.
"Especially with him being at the quarterback position, I know he's going to be able to get all of the plays and the signals down. Your free time during training camp is very, very limited, so I don't think anybody will have time to do anything but get better and focus on ball."
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Browns coach Mike Pettine believes Manziel's biggest competition will come from the playbook, not incumbent starter Brian Hoyer.
"I just think given the circumstances with him being a rookie, it's difficult for a lot of rookies to come in and win the job when there's a guy that's ahead of him that the team has a good feeling about," Pettine said. "We're very pleased with where he is with the playbook.
"He's probably ahead of where we figured he would be, but that's still a tough thing coming from a system where it was maybe three words to call a play, and now, it's 10, 11, 12 words calling it, and then, to be able to process that information in a shorter period of time, that's really the challenge for somebody that's new. If we jump in a car and go 200 miles per hour, we're probably going to run off the road, but once we train to do it, you get used to it. Everything slows down.
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"He's very focused, and I think that's already showed up in the way he's come in and attacked his conditioning test, and how he's been in meetings and on the field these past two days."
Manziel plans on attacking his work, both on the field and in the classroom, with a vengeance in his first professional training camp.
"I'm just trying to get in here every day, get better as a player, as a teammate, really hone in on my craft and try to make this football team as good as it possibly can," Manziel said. "Whatever my role is on this team, I think that will be decided within the play these next three weeks. At the end of the day, what I want is what's best for this team and what's best for this organization moving forward because it's about the Cleveland Browns.
"I'm absolutely a competitive person, and I'm going to come out here every day and compete. I'm not going to shy down from any competition or anybody that really tests me, but at the same time, I'm worried about myself, getting better as a football player, getting better at drops, throwing with accuracy, throwing on the run, doing everything and really commanding a huddle.
"It's not two short, little plays anymore. You have a lot to a play call. You have a lot to read. You have a lot of different things that weren't asked of me at (Texas) A&M. You have to deal with protections. You have to deal with certain things. Moving forward, I have to adapt to that. I have to get better and continue to learn the game of football more and more. I'm still a young guy, a young player and there's a lot for me to learn."