Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel remains unapologetic for going to Las Vegas to party over the Memorial Day weekend.
Manziel told Mary Kay Cabot of The Northeast Ohio Media Group after the Browns' organized team activities on May 28 that other people's comments about his personal life don't matter as long as he's achieving his life goals.
"Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel knows that what happens in Vegas will never stay in Vegas for him.
"Or Bera. Or Poughkeepsie. Or his backyard.
"'I don't live my life according to you guys or according to what other people think of me,' he said Wednesday after organized team activities.
"'I'm going to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game, committed to what I need to be doing here and trying to earn my place in this locker room with these coaches, with this organization.'
"'If I want to go out and have some fun and it doesn't hinder what my main goals in life are then I don't really care what anybody has to say.'
"Manziel was referring to the fact that his Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas -- complete with ringside seats to the UFC fights at the MGM Grand, a poolside bash with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, a flock of bikini-clad women, a selfie with Pauly D and makin' it rain in a club -- was well-chronicled everywhere from Twitter to all of the national outlets to his own Instagram account.
"'I'm very surprised that it's actually a story,' he said, surrounded by local and national media after practice. 'For me, I've accomplished dreams of mine that I never really thought I'd get a chance to be in this position and I've been here every day working extremely hard.'
"'I'm coming in here every day trying to earn my place and do what I need to do.'
"'For me to get a free weekend to spend some time with friends and family of mine, and to have fun and relax and get away from the grind a little bit and then come back when I'm supposed to and get back to work this week and do what I'm supposed to do, I don't really feel that's a story.'
"'It was a little bit of a break for us and I got to go enjoy it and relax.'"
For Manziel's head coach, Mike Pettine, he thinks the issue is "overblown," notes NFL.com's Marc Sessler.
"The coach of the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday called the national fervor over Manziel's poolside hangout with Rob Gronkowski and a fleet of 9s comprehensively 'overblown.'
"'My advice to him was (to) have fun,' Pettine said. 'He's a young guy. He's done everything that we've asked. The playbook has not been an issue for him.'
"Quipped the coach: 'I know he has his iPad with him. And I know he wasn't using it as a coaster.'
"Pettine emphasized that the Browns wouldn't 'micromanage our players,' but he did warn his young signal-caller to 'be prepared for a lot of questions.'"
Pettine also told USA TODAY's Jim Corbett the team will not manage Manziel andy differently just because he has a certain reputation.
"We can't treat him any different and say,'Well, just because he has a reputation and people gravitate to him all of a sudden we have to react any time he's reported being somewhere out of the building.' He came back here prepared.
"I guarantee you there were a lot of other NFL players in Las Vegas this weekend. And there were a bunch down in South Beach. I know some of our guys were down there, too.
"He's gotten better every time he's taken the field, which is encouraging. He's gotten better in the huddle with the verbiage, calling plays...He's been solid.
"I can only judge him on what he's done when he's been here. I'm not going to judge him on how he lives outside the building as long as that's not affecting what he does here.
"I know a lot of people will question that mentality. But he's a grown man. And he's earned the right to be treated as such."