Wednesday, 25 November 2015

After partying video leaked, Johnny Manziel demoted to third string

BEREA, Ohio -- Mike Pettine demoted Johnny Manziel from Browns starting quarterback to No. 3 in the span of a week after reviewing the film.But it wasn't the kind of film any head coach wants to see.Pettine benched his 2014 first-round pick after video surfaced on Monday of Manziel partying over the weekend in Austin, Tex.The video was taken three days after Manziel was named the starter for the final six games of the season, and after Pettine sat him down and gave him a stern warning to behave off the field -- especially during the five days off for the bye weekend.
But Manziel partied it up on Thursday and Friday nights, and then tried to pass off the video as old on Monday when asked about it at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, where he was volunteering."It was something that we felt had violated the trust that we had put in him before the bye coming out of the Pittsburgh game and it was a decision we made as a result of it,'' Pettine told the Cleveland Browns radio network Tuesday.Josh McCown, who threw for a franchise-record 457 yards in a 33-30 overtime victory over the Ravens  on Oct. 11, will start against them again on Monday night football at FirstEnergy Stadium and will be the starter 'going forward.' Austin Davis will be back him up, and Manziel will probably not even dress for the game."I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O'Connell) after practice today,'' Pettine said in a statement. "Johnny will be the third quarterback. I've spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.''Pettine stressed in the statement that Manziel's talk is still cheap, just like it was all of last season. Only this season, Manziel was fresh off 10 weeks in an addiction treatment center and the Browns hoped things would be different."Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room,'' Pettine said in the statement. "I'm especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous, but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level."It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we've decided it's best to go with Josh as the starter going forward."Manziel's benching means that the Browns might not have another chance to evaluate him this season as their possible quarterback of the future. It also means they'll have to look long and hard at selecting a quarterback high in the draft. As it stands, the 2-8 Browns have one of the top three picks in the draft and a clear shot at one of the premier prospects.The decision to demote him all the way to No. 3 could mean the Browns have reached the end of their rope with Manziel and that they're ready to move on at some point in the near future.If they don't cut him -- which seems unlikely during the next six games -- they could always hang on and see if someone is willing to trade for him.But the demotion is a stunning turnaround from last week, when the Browns handed Manziel the reins and gave him a chance to prove that he's their quarterback of the future."(It's) disappointing -- very,'' said Pettine after practice but before he made the decision. "I can't stand here and say it's not whatever word we want to use – disappointing, frustrating."Pettine got Manziel's version of the story on Monday night, and then met with him again on Tuesday after practice, along with DeFilippo and O'Connell. Pettine also talked to Haslam and Farmer before making his decision, and again after."It's all part of the frustration, the disappointment,'' said Pettine of Manziel's pattern of missteps. "When the behavior repeats, it's certainly a cause for concern.''

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