Cleveland Browns: Will Johnny Manziel's Tardiness Affect QB Battle?

By Casey Drottar
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The sun rises, the earth rotates and Johnny Manziel causes a stir.

Such is life for the Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback. However, despite partying at a spring-break-in-Cancun level most of the offseason, Manziel has actually stayed under the radar now that training camp is in full swing.

However, today his name came up again, albeit for a slightly less extreme issue. It was reported a few hours ago Manziel and a few other rookies were late for a team meeting this past Monday. Apparently, the players misread the week’s schedule, and were a little tardy for a short five-minute meeting.

Though this news came shortly after coach Mike Pettine named Brian Hoyer as the team’s starter for next Monday’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins, it appears the lateness had no impact on the decision. Nor should it have, essentially because it doesn’t seem to be a major red flag.

Sure, players are expected to be on time for all meetings. That said, on the scale of one to drunkenly slurring into a money phone, this is barely a big issue. It just goes to show how bright the spotlight is on Manziel. Notice none of the other late rookies were even mentioned in the reports.

Of course, while it didn’t affect Manziel’s chances of starting next Monday, you’re forced to wonder what impact it could have on the QB competition between him and Hoyer.

All reports seem to display the veteran Hoyer as a model citizen. He appears to be the kind of guy who’s first to arrive at practice, last to leave. He’s been aggressively fighting his way back to the starting position he lost after tearing his ACL last year. Point blank: his offseason was essentially the polar opposite of Manziel’s.

However, it doesn’t sound like this will make or break the rookie’s chances in the quarterback battle.

Word from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is Pettine handled the matter himself, but didn’t blow up on Manziel or the other rookies. On top of this, Mortensen’s source claims it would be “very unfair and inaccurate” to associate Manziel being late with the intense partying he enjoyed earlier in the summer.

Hearing this, it’s highly unlikely anyone on the team is still even bringing this up to Manziel three days later, much less letting it affect the QB competition. At the end of the day, Pettine is looking to see who performs best on the field. If Hoyer struggles next game while Manziel shines, it’s hard to believe Pettine will name the former as his starter because “I mean, Johnny was late that one time.”

Hopefully for Manziel, this will blow over as quickly as it was brought up. He’s done his fair share of questionable things off the field, this isn’t one of them.

Casey Drottar is a Cleveland sportswriter for Follow him on Twitter @CDrottar19 or “Like” him on Facebook

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