Do Manziel’s off-field issues have to do with losing starting job?

The Browns were reportedly concerned about Johnny Manziel after he losing his starting job.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

By Will Gibson

It was a shade over a month ago when Johnny Manziel got the Browns' starting quarterback job, if only for one game. Aided by a superb effort from his defense, Manziel led the Browns to a 28-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans. He completed 8-of-15 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, with both scores coming on deep balls to Travis Benjamin. Josh McCown returned to action the next week and Manziel returned to clipboard duty. It was around then that Manziel’s attitude reportedly changed.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, some in the Browns organization were concerned that Manziel’s preparation and behavior would change after McCown reclaimed the starting job.

“This kid is such a competitor and he got a taste for it and made some plays and started a game and I think he thought he got the job back,” a team source told La Canfora. “So you had a bad feeling something might be coming and he might slip.

“I’m not sure he’s wired to be a backup and he had really won people over, but I can’t say it’s a surprise that something like this happened after he ended up back on the bench.”

“Something like this” refers to Manziel’s incident with police two weeks ago. He and his girlfriend had been day-drinking downtown and were questioned by authorities after their arguing in Manziel’s car inspired two separate 911 calls. Manziel’s girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, told police that Manziel had hit her. No charges were pressed, Manziel did not undergo any sort of DUI test, and the couple was allowed to leave the scene together. The NFL is still reviewing the matter.

Per La Canfora, some in the franchise have quietly hoped that the couple would part ways.

There have been concerns about the sometimes turbulent nature of [Manziel and Crowley’s] relationship within the Browns hierarchy, sources said, and some have been hoping there would be separation for quite some time.

This story is the latest on the Browns fueled by anonymous sources. Unnamed defensive players were reportedly unhappy with Jim O’Neil’s defense, and now we have rumblings about Manziel’s attitude and personal life. The little birdies are chirping in Berea.

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