BEREA, Ohio – Johnny’s gonna play and Johnny’s gonna party.
Tired of scrutiny about how he spends his weekends away from football and drained by the spotlight that follows him, Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel said he has no plans to tone down his lifestyle.
“I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong,” he said.
Speaking at a PLAY 60 event with other AFC rookies, Manziel said he’s been bothered by recent criticism about his behavior.
Since being drafted by the Browns in the first round in May, Manziel’s weekend adventures – hanging out poolside with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in Las Vegas, photographed on a swan raft while drinking champagne, shown in a video talking into a stack of money as if it were a phone – have added to the legend of Johnny Football.
Manziel says he’s not a party animal.
“I’m going out,” he said. “Everybody goes out on the weekends and enjoys their life and lives their life. And just for them, they don’t have people that when they walk into a place pull out their phones and all they want to do is follow me around and record everything.”
In the past few days, Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Joe Montana and Warren Moon have all said Manziel should focus on his playing career, and it might help if he curtailed some of the other stuff.
“Just what’s getting out on social media doesn’t mean that’s all I’m doing in my life,” he said. “Just my weekends aren’t what I’m doing, seven days a week. That’s two days out of the week and there’s five to six other days when I’m here at this building going through my playbook and working out just like every other rookie, so nothing that I’m doing on the weekends is affecting my job.”