BEREA, Ohio — On the eve before the start of his first NFL training camp, Johnny Manziel wanted to set the record straight.
Meeting with the media, Manziel opened with a statement before he took questions.
"First and foremost I should come out and say a couple of things," he said. "I’m very excited to be back in Cleveland, back with the teammates, the coaches, just being in the environment, I think everybody’s ready to get back to football, get back to what we all love doing.
"Second, just to save you guys a lot of time, me and coach (Mike) Pettine and Ray Farmer have really talked about a lot of things that have transpired over the course of the offseason. For me, my main thing is, people within this building, my teammates, the coaching staff, the higher-ups in this organization we’ve all been on the same page, we’ve all been good and very eager to be moving forward.
"At the end of the day, I’ve made some rookie mistakes," he said. "There’s some things that I wish I could’ve gone back and done a little differently, but I’m continuing to move forward and trying to represent this organization in a positive manner and a positive light, so just very excited to be back in camp and it’s football 24/7 and that’s what I love doing. That’s what I live for and it’s what my job, so for me, I’m very excited to be back and can’t wait to get this underway.”
Manziel didn’t address anything specific he would have done differently, nor he wouldn’t answer specific questions about the rolled up $20 bill he was seen in a photo or any of the other offseason situations.
"I think I just spoke on that a little bit, that we’re going to keep these things… I’ve talked about that with coach Pettine, I’ve talked about it with Ray Farmer and the people I need to talk about that with and moving forward, they’re good with everything, and I’ve told them everything that I need to and everything’s been good.”
However, Manziel still defended his ability to have a night life.
"I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me going out and having a nightlife, having a social life," he said. "I mean I am 21 years old and I do like going out and it was the offseason. It’s free time for us and if I want to go out and hang out with my friends or go to nightclubs or do things like that then I think that’s within my rights to be doing that, and I think there’s other guys throughout the league that are doing that, and I’m not trying to compare myself to anybody else but I think that’s within my rights to be doing that."
Manziel said he doesn’t think his mistakes have hurt his chances of winning the starting quarterback position away from Brian Hoyer.
"I don’t believe so," he said. "I think there are definitely things I can do moving forward to help better act as a professional and at the same time I’m still learning how to do that. I’m still getting used to this role, still getting used to this league, still getting used to being a pro football player. I’m not in college anymore and there are things I need to do better and that’s just part of being a professional and hopefully with time and going through this season and as time goes on, I’ll get better at doing that."
Manziel is looking forward to trotting out on the field Saturday morning and start his NFL journey in front of Browns fans.
"The fans have been incredible," he said. "From the day that I got drafted in New York they’ve been incredible until now. The buzz about sports in this city in general, not just football but you look at basketball now. You look at the Indians, but especially with the Browns, this state, this town has been great for us and it’s been great to me personally."