As questions about the offseason partying of Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel swirled, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans made a prediction about his close friend and former Texas A&M teammate.
"In training camp, I don't think he'll go out at all," Evans, the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, said June 24 during the NFL Rookie Symposium. "He'll be committed and devoted and fighting for a starting job."
Well, it didn't take Manziel long to prove Evans wrong about whether he would go out.
The Browns were off Wednesday, so players had some downtime Tuesday night after the fourth full-squad practice of training camp. Manziel used his first brief break during camp to hit the bar at Two Bucks in Middleburg Heights, which is less than two miles from the team's headquarters in Berea.
Photographs showing Manziel sitting at the bar and drinking were posted on Twitter and passed along by BustedCoverage.com. The images aren't controversial or shocking -- like the photos that surfaced this summer of Manziel rolling money in a bathroom and drinking from a big bottle of alcohol atop an inflatable swan -- but they do debunk Evans' theory.
No one should be shocked this time, especially not after the message Manziel delivered Saturday, when camp opened.
Moments after owner Jimmy Haslam expressed disappointment in Manziel for his behavior since the Browns drafted him 22nd overall in May -- "We expect better from him," Haslam said, -- Manziel went on a long rant about how he'll continue to have fun.
"Here's the thing I want to say: The reason that I'm popular or the reason people follow me and there's been such a buzz around me is that when I went out on Saturday at Texas A&M, I played with an extreme amount of passion and I played with my heart on my sleeve, but more than anything, I had fun," said Manziel, who's competing with veteran Brian Hoyer this summer for the starting quarterback job. "I have fun playing this game. I have fun going out on this field playing football. It's what I live for. It's what I love to do. Same way off the field, whether I'm going out and playing golf or going out and having a night life, whatever it is, I have a lot of fun. That's what my life is and luckily for me, I'm living out my dream of playing in the NFL and having a ton of fun.
"My dream has come true, and finally I got some time to get some downtime and celebrate that with my family and friends. This is the greatest life that I could have ever imagined for me and I'm loving that. So will I continue to get better at being a professional and learn lessons about life? Of course. I'm 21 years old and age is not an excuse, but I need to mature and I have done some immature things. But moving forward, I'm going to try and get better and handle myself better as a professional. That's all I can say about that. But my life is incredible. I'm blessed to be in this position, and I'm going to have fun each and every day, whether it's practice, whether it's training camp, whether it's during the season and going out and playing the game, which will be even better, or it's going out in the offseason, and playing golf or hanging out with my family. Life's fun, and enjoy it while it's here."
Perhaps Evans would have changed his prediction if he had heard Manziel's most recent interview beforehand.
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