Browns Notes: Manziel, Gilbert, Bortles

As PFR’s Matt Feminis briefly touched on earlier today, Johnny Manziel remains defiant amid all of the negative press regarding his off-the-field behavior. Manziel, who was attending the NFL Rookie Symposium’s Play 60 youth clinic in Cleveland, said he was planning on maturing instead of completely changing his character. Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

I’m not going to change who I am for anybody. I’m growing up and continuing to learn from my mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over and over again, but am I going to live in a shell or am I just going to hide from everybody and not do anything? I don’t think that’s the way I should live my life and I’m not going to do it.

“I’m here, I’m very committed to football. I’m committed to my job, but on the weekends, I’m going to enjoy my time off. We deserve it. We work hard here.

“I am going to enjoy my time off. I’m very about football and very about my job, which doesn’t get reported or won’t get reported, but I am going to enjoy my time off. That’s I think what everybody else does and that’s what I should do.”

Meanwhile, teammate Terrance West didn’t necessarily express frustration towards Manziel. However, was the rookie running back annoyed about the continuing questions about the quarterback’s antics? Mary Kay Cabot has the answer:

“Yes, because it’s a distraction,” West said. “We’re here to play football and it’s all about all of his off-the-field stuff, so it’s a distraction.

“He’s enjoying life. He’s not doing anything negative. He’s not getting arrested or getting DUIs or anything like that. I don’t think it’s a big deal. Everyone’s supposed to enjoy life and have fun.”

Additionally, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that team owner Jimmy Haslam was turned off by a particular Manziel video and asked the quarterback to “tone it down” (Cabot has the story on

Let’s see what else is going within the organization…

  • The Browns other first-round pick, cornerback Justin Gilbert, didn’t sound optimistic when asked if he’d sign his contract prior to training camp. “I don’t know,” Gilbert said (via Fox Sport Ohio’s Fred Greetham). “They’re still working on it.”
  • Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, who was also in Cleveland for the youth clinic, wasn’t expecting to be drafted third overall. In fact, he originally thought there was a better chance of being picked by the Browns. “I had no idea. I was as surprised as anybody else when they called me,” Bortles said (via the Morning-Journal’s Jeff Schudel). “I definitely thought there was more of a possibility I’d be here (Cleveland) than Jacksonville, but that’s not the way it turned out and I couldn’t be happier to be where I am.”
  • When it comes to “diamonds in the rough” among the wide receiver depth, Tony Grossi of points to undrafted rookie Chandler Jones (via Twitter). The former San Jose State Spartan finished 2013 with 79 catches for 1,356 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was signed by the Browns in the middle of May.
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