By: Christopher Hall
June 18, 2015
It took a while and only time will tell how sincere he is but it appears that Johnny Manziel is finally growing up. After a rocky rookie reason that ended with a 10-week stay in Rehab, it appears that the flashy but talented gunslinger out of Texas A&M has finally begun to show signs of maturity.
Dating back to this days in College Station being dubbed “Johnny Football” and flashing the money sign after touchdowns, it was no surprise when his antics and distractions—both on the field and off—carried over to the NFL.
However, speaking out publicly for the first time since his representatives stated he was entering rehab (which he concluded in the spring), Manziel seems to have learned from his mistakes and ready to get to business.
As part of this new start, he told the media Wednesday that he is retiring the money sign and will begin taking steps to be less of a distraction for his teammates and the franchise as a whole.
“The money sign will not be back,” he told reports. “I feel bad about throughout the last months of my life really thinking back and seeing how much of my life outside of this field and outside of this locker room was documented,” Manziel said.
He went on to explain how he regrets the effects his decisions have made on those around him and he bought into all the hype while in college and wants to get back to his roots and focus on the important things.
“I think (the hype) just overtook who I was as a person, I didn’t do my best to push it down. My focus is football. It’s what I’m here to do and what I love to do,” he said. “Its not fair to my coaches and teammates to be out here having to answer questions about me every day.”
Manziel says he ready to turn over a new leaf and become not only a better player on the field but better person off the field as well. So far, he appears to be pointed in the right direction.
Outside of an isolated event in which Manziel tossed a water bottle at a persistent fan seeking an autograph a few weeks ago, he has remained quiet and out of the limelight since rehab. He even made a few public appearances at Cavs game throughout the playoffs.
As of right now, it’ll be more of a waiting game. He’s been working with the second team offense during summer workouts as newcomer Josh McCown, who signed with Cleveland in the off-season, is expected to get all the first-team reps heading into training camp.
Who knows, maybe he can get back on track and be a valuable asset for the Browns this year. I sure hope so and will be pulling for him to get his act together—and more importantly—keep it together moving forward.
However, don’t expect Cleveland to have a major turnaround this season. But in the least, maybe Manziel can prove to a solid back up for the Browns and see significant playing time. If he can stay out of trouble and the spotlight, he might be able to provide a little excitement for a city that’s desperate for someone other than Lebron James to be proud of.