One was removed for him when Josh McCown broke his collarbone, but coach Mike Pettine did say Manziel had been “good in the building” the past two weeks. That saying about faint praise comes to mind, but Pettine doesn’t say things he doesn’t mean.
Manziel’s next interesting experience will come when he meets with the media, likely on Wednesday. There will be many questions about many topics Manziel has yet to address.
The driving incident that led witnesses to call police and say Manziel was driving at a high rate of speed on the shoulder of a highway and was beating his girlfriend. The league chose not to discipline him under the personal conduct policy, but when that announcement came out, Manziel released a poorly worded and poorly thought out statement that said the world now knows exactly what happened that night, which is really not true.
Manziel’s public and private promise after he was named the starter to not embarrass the team during the bye week, followed by his embarrassing appearance in a social media video in Austin, Texas.
The revelation that Manziel lied to his coaches about the timing of the video.
The decision by the coaches to make Manziel third-team and take the starter’s job away from him.
The decision to play Austin Davis ahead of Manziel for one game after McCown was hurt.
Those are incidents from an eventful two weeks most players would rather avoid and forget. Manziel could choose to comment on them, or he could do a Bill Belichick and simply say: “On to San Francisco.”
The bigger, more philosophical question that might come up will be about trust, which Pettine said Manziel clearly violated.
Manziel has been down this road before in Cleveland. At the end of last season, he talked about doing the right things, and just a few days later, he had to be woken by team security the day before the season finale because he had been out late the night before.
Which leads to the question: Why should people believe him this time?
Manziel is very adept with the media and very good at answering questions. He can be engaging, personable and friendly, which, in a few cases, has been part of the issue. After he has been engaging, personable and friendly, he has done what he said he wouldn't.
Addressing the media is part of the responsibility of every NFL player. It is included in every NFL contract. This discussion need not be confrontational or ugly.
It just figures to include some direct questions.