“It would be hard for me to sit here and say, ‘We have a zero-tolerance policy,’” Pettine said. “But if something were to occur, I could imagine that the repercussions would be harsh.”
Manziel was benched one week after being tabbed as the starter for the remainder of the season when video surfaced of him partying during the team’s Week 11 bye. He reportedly earned his starting role back for Week 14 under the agreement that he would meet certain conditions going forward. Manziel, 23, spent 10 weeks in rehab earlier this year, and was also stopped by police in October during a domestic incident involving alcohol.
His demotion lasted two weeks, a punishment Manziel believed was harsh, though he is thankful he has again been named the starter for this week’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
“In Coach Pettine’s mind, he thought that was necessary to get the harsh point across to me,” Manziel said. “Did I like it? No. Did I have to sit there with a bad taste in my mouth and accept the consequences for my actions? Sure. I’m just sitting here today very thankful to be back in this role.”
The Browns will try to break their seven-game losing streak against the 49ers on Sunday.
- Erin Flynn