Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine told ESPN on Wednesday that the team is proud of quarterback Johnny Manziel for checking into a rehab facility in late January.
The Cleveland Browns are proud of quarterback Johnny Manziel for checking into a rehab facility in late January.
No less than head coach Mike Pettine made the declaration to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 18. Pettine added the Browns might have to deal with issues they were not aware of when they drafted him last year.
Pettine also told Fowler that Manziel has the team's full support:
"We had the same information everyone else in the league had. It's easy to look back now and say,'What did you miss?' You can interpret something a little bit differently now and it turns out to be a deeper-rooted thing than you thought.
"I just wanted to go visit him and see how he's doing, let him know that we're proud of him for the decision he made to go in. Obviously he has our full support...He stepped up and said,'I need help.'"
Pettine confirmed to Andrew Gribble of the Browns' official website that he did visit Manziel at the treatment facility. The Cleveland mentor did not divulge any specifics out of respect for his quarterback. The league forbids its coaches and players meeting for football-based reasons.
Pettine said the Browns still don't know when Manziel will return. Nonetheless, the Browns head coach told ESPN that Manziel is "very determined to come out of it in a much better way."
Fowler's source told him on Feb. 3 that Manziel decided to seek treatment to "figure out his value system" as a way of giving more importance to Manziel the quarterback than his off-field "Johnny Football" persona.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group's Mary Kay Cabot obtained a statement from Manziel's publicist after the controversial quarterback checked into his rehab facility on Jan. 28:
"Brad Beckworth, a friend and advisor to Johnny Manziel and his family, has confirmed that Johnny entered treatment on Wednesday. Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate, and he thought the offseason was the right time to take this step.
"On behalf of Johnny and his family, we're asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland."
Pettine told ESPN that Manziel struggled after he hurt his hamstring in Week 16. The Browns quarterback missed his treatment session the following week after photos of him partying in Aspen, Houston and Miami went viral online.
Gribble stresses Manziel's uncertain future and Brian Hoyer's impending free agency leave a huge question mark at the starting quarterback position. Connor Shaw, the Browns' starter for last season's finale against the Baltimore Ravens, will return.
Cabot reveals the Browns fined Manziel for oversleeping the day before the game against the Ravens. He admitted he had been up all night partying.
Manziel was remorseful in an interview with Cabot the day after the 2014 NFL season concluded:
"I brought this on myself. I brought these cameras and all these people that are here in this locker right now and I don't think it's fair to myself, I don't think it's fair to anybody in this locker room the distractions that I've brought at points in time.
"So I'm sorry to these guys that are veterans in this locker room and know what it takes, that I'm having to learn the hard way. At the same time, I'm either going to learn or I'm going to find something else to do."
Manziel's social life made front-page news over the course of last year. He floated on an inflatable swan rolled up a bill in a bathroom bar during that span. Cabot's sources told her the Browns considered Manziel's behavior "disturbing."
Manziel passed for 175 yards and two interceptions in five games during the 2014 NFL season for a 42.0 QB rating, per ESPN.
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