Mike Pettine disappointed in Johnny Manziel, open to using draft pick on QB
The Browns coach sure doesn’t seem confident that Manziel is Cleveland’s quarterback of the future.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine isn’t sugarcoating his concerns over Johnny Manziel’s future in Cleveland. In the wake of a disappointing rookie year capped by yet another round of late-night partying rumors, a candid Pettine made it clear on Monday that his team will be looking to improve under center, even if that means turning to the draft.
“We’ll look at every way to upgrade the quarterback position,” Pettine said to media members, including Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer and Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “We’re fortunate we have two draft picks in first round.”
Over the weekend, an injured Manziel made headlines for missing a treatment session on Saturday morning, then admitted he overslept after going out with friends the previous night. That news came just over a month after his entourage was involved in a late-night brawl in a downtown Cleveland apartment.
“At some point, talk is cheap,” Pettine said. “He’s gotten to the point to me where his actions are much more important than what he says.”
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam voiced similar concerns on Sunday, saying, “We’re not going to tolerate people who are irresponsible no matter what round they’re drafted in.”
Pettine said that playing well will help quiet a lot of the drama, but after two late-season starts in which Manziel completed just 50 percent of his passes for two picks and a no touchdowns, he has just as many concerns about the quarterback on the field as off of it.
“The sample size on Manziel was not very big and, on the surface, not very encouraging,” Pettine said.
With veteran Brian Hoyer set to become a free agent this offseason, the Browns have major questions about their future under center. Pettine called his quarterback situation “muddy” and said he didn’t know whether Hoyer, who took his nameplate out of the locker room “just in case,” would be back next season.
Pettine also expressed doubt over Josh Gordon’s future with the team. The troubled wideout, who began the year on a 12-game suspension, missed a team walkthrough on Saturday morning and is rumored to have been partying with Manziel the previous night.
“It’s clearly a disappointing end to the year for Josh Gordon,” said Pettine. “At some point you get tired of using the word potential … This offseason for Gordon puts him squarely at a crossroads with us. We want him here, but want him accountable.
“We don’t have a lot of rules, but rules that we have are pretty simple. When players break them, there will be consequences.”