Johnny Manziel must 'figure it out'

Updated: June 25, 2014, 10:35 AM ET
ESPN.com

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel had better tone it down off the field and pay more attention to what's happening on it if he plans on an extended NFL career, Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith said Tuesday.

Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher who won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, has some advice for the flamboyant, partying Manziel: Eventually you have to grow up.

"That lifestyle is going to be a short lifestyle -- a short career lifestyle -- if he continues that," Smith told 105.3 FM in Dallas. "As we used to say, you can't keep burning the candle at both ends of the stick. The candle gets small fairly quick. Johnny is going to have to figure it out.

"Hopefully he's not doing anything to hurt himself outside of drinking, which is going to harm his body and harm his performance anyway. At the end of the day, he's going to have to learn to manage those things."

Browns coach Mike Pettine has said he's got no issues with whatever Manziel is doing off the field, as long as it isn't criminal, and refuses to micromanage his new star.

Smith, however, puts the onus on Manziel to realize what's important, to make the right choices and to leave the college lifestyle behind.

"Johnny is young. I was young and dumb myself at one point in time," said Smith, who played 13 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Cowboys. "But maturity itself, and maturing as a professional athlete, is something that is required of every pro football player.

"I think right now Johnny Manziel is going to get a glimpse of what negative press can do for you. A lot of people think negative press is good press -- or any press is good press. It's not."

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