The second season of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has officially ended, and the coaching staff wants him to spend the offseason addressing his off-field issues.
On Thursday, Browns coach Mike Pettine ruled out Manziel for Sunday's season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in last year's draft, was diagnosed Wednesday with a concussion suffered Sunday in a 17-13 loss to Kansas City.
Pettine and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo also stressed they want Manziel to work on his personal issues in the offseason. Manziel spent more than 10 weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation facility specializing in alcohol and drug addiction treatment this past offseason. The former Heisman Trophy winner appeared in a video that surfaced online this past weekend rapping and holding a can of what appears to be Four Loko, a malt beverage that contains 12 percent alcohol by volume.
"Here is a guy that has an NFL skill set," Pettine said. "He's very talented. If you spend some time with him, he's a likable guy. You root for him. But there are problems there that we'll talk as we're headed to the offseason about getting addressed. We want to make sure that all of our players are in good shape as people first, players second, because I don't think you can be as effective as you can be as a player if things aren't right off the field, and he's a good example of that."
Pettine conceded that Manziel's off-field issues could prevent him from becoming the franchise's quarterback of the future.
"I think he's shown on the field that he can (be the quarterback of the future), but we always talk in terms of long-term, sustained success," Pettine said. "And that's what you want to strive for, and if things aren't right off the field, that's very difficult to have that level of consistency, especially when you're in a position of leadership."
So how important is it for Manziel to get his life in order off the field?
"It's tremendously important, and not only for on the field. I think your teammates need to see you doing the right thing as well," DeFilippo replied.
"That's part of the position. It's a lifestyle. I've talked about that a bunch. Playing quarterback in this league is a lifestyle. You need to eat, sleep and breathe football. I think we made strides in that department. I don't want to say we're there all the way. But I think we could all agree in this (media) room, I think we have made strides in that department with the young man, and he'll continue to get better."