The Cleveland Browns have tried to keep the media off Johnny Manziel while he goes through the early stages of preparing for his career as an NFL superstar. As part of their Protect Johnny Football campaign, the Browns have repeatedly insisted that Brian Hoyer is their starting quarterback until such time as Manziel actually earns the job.
Most have called BS on the idea that Hoyer and not Manziel is the true starter in Cleveland. Head coach Mike Pettine has heard enough of this and is going on the defensive against those who accuse him and the Browns of perpetrating a not-so-clever ruse.
When people criticize how we handled it, what’s the alternative? Would it have been more prudent for us the night we drafted him to name him the starter? And have him come in here and let the media have access to him every day and have a huge press conference for him? Handle him that way?
Oh Mike Pettine. That is not going to help dispel the general impression that the Browns are super-paranoid about how the media will treat Johnny Manziel when/if they gain access to him.
The point Pettine and the Browns seem to be missing is that, for quarterbacks especially, learning to deal with the media is an important part of the learning process. Sheltering Manziel from the attention isn’t going to help him, and it could potentially hurt him.
Plus, you’re creating an adversarial media environment right off the bat, which is never good. So far I’d say the Browns are making way more of a mess out of this than they had to. See what you get for being over-protective and shady?