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Mike Pettine: ‘We’re Proud of’ Johnny Manziel

Mike Pettine: ‘We’re Proud of’ Johnny Manziel

Elsa/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine is proud of quarterback Johnny Manziel checking himself into rehab.

Petttine spoke with reporters at the NFL combine on Wednesday and said that before they drafted 'Johnny Football' that they were aware of the player they were getting.

"We had the same information everyone else in the league had," Pettine said. "It's easy to look back now and say, 'What did you miss?' You can interpret something a little bit differently now and it turns out to be a deeper-rooted thing than you thought."

Pettine said he visited with Manziel and credited him for not letting things get any worse.

"I just wanted to go visit him and see how he's doing, let him know that we're proud of him for the decision he made to go in," Pettine said. "Obviously he has our full support. ...He stepped up and said, 'I need help.'"

"He's in a much better place now than before he went in," Pettine continued. "He's very determined to come out of it in a much better way."

Pettine said he was not told what exactly happened to Manziel, but was happy he got the help that was available.

"As we were getting into discussions on each player at the end of the year and the best path moving forward, he decided to put himself in," Pettine said. "I'm sure something occurred. I personally don't know what that exact point was."

The Browns still must address their quarterback situation, if Manziel doesn't become the starter next season. 

Brian Hoyer remains a free agent, but both sides are reportedly not even close to a deal.

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Report: Colts Will Attempt To Void RB Richardson’s Contract

Report: Colts Will Attempt To Void RB Richardson’s Contract

Al Bello/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, In.) -- The Indianapolis Colts are entering the first stages of what appears to be a messy divorce.

After trading for Trent Richardson four weeks into the 2013 season, the Colts will attempt to void the final year of the running back's contract, reports Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Richardson is due $3.184 million next season.

As Holder points out, language in Richardson's contract allows the team to release the player and avoid paying him in the case of "failure to report, incarceration" and — as is the case here — "suspension by the team." Richardson was suspended by the team in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs after he missed a team walkthrough to deal with a "serious family emergency."

It would later be revealed that the family emergency was in fact related to Richardson's girlfriend's pregnancy. His girlfriend appeared to enter premature labor after just 28 weeks, putting both her and the unborn child's life at risk.

The Colts traded a 2014 first-round pick to acquire Richardson from the Cleveland Browns. In 29 games with Indianapolis, the former third overall pick has run for only 977 yards and six touchdowns.

 

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Browns’ Johnny Manziel Checks into Treatment Center

Browns’ Johnny Manziel Checks into Treatment Center

Elsa/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel entered a treatment center on Wednesday.

"We respect Johnny's initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. "Our players' health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns."

"We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player. Johnny's privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same," he continued.

ESPN.com interviewed numerous Browns sources who made reference that Manziel was partying too hard. His party habits have been much scrutinized since his days at Texas A&M.

After winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012, Manziel became a lightning rod in the media and sports world. He was selected by the Browns with the 22nd pick in the first round.

He struggled his rookie season, throwing for 175 yards in five games with one total touchdown.

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Browns WR Josh Gordon Speaks Out About Off-The-Field Issues

Browns WR Josh Gordon Speaks Out About Off-The-Field Issues

American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- After another failed drug test, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon wrote a first-person letter posted on Medium.com, telling his own story of his most recent incidents with the law. 

Gordon directs the letter to his critics, including Charles Barkley, and ESPN analysts Stephen A. Smith, and Cris Carter, all who have expressed concern for Gordon’s future in professional football, and his well-being off-the-field.

In the letter, Gordon explained his failed alcohol test, which came after a flight he took with teammates and former receivers coach, Mike McDaniel on Jan. 2.  He also discussed his 10-game suspension this past NFL season and his reduced four-game suspension for a DWI charge last year. 

Gordon says he just made a bad decision at the wrong time. However, after discussing his current instances, Gordon took full accountability for his actions, saying, “the only person to blame is me.”

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Browns W.R. Josh Gordon Facing One-Year Ban

Browns W.R. Josh Gordon Facing One-Year Ban

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon failed another drug test and will now face a one-year suspension, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports.

Gordon tested positive for alcohol, a source said, confirming a report by Pro Football Talk. 

Gordon was suspended at the end of the season for violating team rules after missing the first 10 games of the season, to go along with being arrested for driving while impaired after speeding down a street in Raleigh, North Carolina during the summer.

Prior to that arrest, he was suspended the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

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Colt’s Richardson Does Not Travel With Team

Colt’s Richardson Does Not Travel With Team

Al Bello/Getty Images(FOXBORO, Ma.) -- The end of the line is nearing for Trent Richardson with the Indianapolis Colts.

One week after being a healthy inactive for the Colts divisional win over the Denver Broncos, Richardson did not travel to New England, for "personal reasons," the team announced Saturday.

"[Being inactive] will never happen to me again," Richardson said Thursday. "Anybody can quote me, today, because it's never going to happen again."

Richardson was the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.  The Cleveland Browns changed their front office a year later and shipped him to the Colts.

"It was such a bold and aggressive move and so forth, but really from a football standpoint, we needed a starting running back," General manager Ryan Grigson said one year ago. "Trent was made available. ...I'm glad we have him for the long haul. It was very economically wise as a franchise to make the move given where we're going with the run game."

Indianapolis traded a 2013 first round pick for Richardson to the Cleveland Browns. In 29 games with the Colts, he has amassed just 977 rushing yards.

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ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

ESPN: Kyle Shanahan Parts Ways with Browns

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kyle Shanahan has resigned as the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.ESPN also reports quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains has been fired.Shanahan spent only one season in Cleveland and, according to ESPN, left because he did not agree with the front office about Johnny Manziel. Shanahan didn't believe the team could win with Manziel as the starter, but the front office insisted on starting him.The Browns' offense was 20th in passing yards per game and 17th in rushing yards per game last season.

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ESPN: Steelers Expected to Sign Running Back Ben Tate

ESPN: Steelers Expected to Sign Running Back Ben Tate

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the status of running back LeVeon Bell uncertain for the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to sign free agent running back Ben Tate, according to ESPN.

Bell suffered a hyperextended knee during the team's win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. While the injury could have been much worse, the team is unsure when he'll be able to hit the field again.

The Steelers will be the third team Tate's suited up for this season.

The 26-year-old Tate spent the first three seasons of his career with the Houston Texans. He ran for 942 yards his rookie year in 2011 and looked like he could be a feature back while he backup up Pro Bowler Arian Foster.

Tate signed with the Cleveland Browns during this past offseason. He wound up struggling, running for 333 yards on 106 carries before being cut midseason.

The Minnesota Vikings pickup him up, but he had just 38 rushing yards on 13 carries, and was again cut.

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Browns QB Johnny Manziel Denies Report of Party

Browns QB Johnny Manziel Denies Report of Party

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BEREA, Ohio) -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel denied a report on Monday that he missed his treatment appointment with the team on Saturday because he threw a party with his teammates.

The Browns had to send their security personnel to his home on Saturday morning after he failed to show up at team headquarters to have his injured hamstring worked on. He told the team that he had overslept.

“I feel like because the perception that I base around myself, and I’ve done this to myself, that was allowed to be reported, and people were allowed to just nod their head and act like that went on, when in fact it was completely untrue,” Manziel said.

The Browns suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon for the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens after he missed the team walk-through. Initial reports stated that Gordon was with Manziel at the party.

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Falcons Hold Off Browns 20-10, Clinch Playoff Berth

Falcons Hold Off Browns 20-10, Clinch Playoff Berth

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Ravens are in the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years after a 20-10 win over the Browns on Sunday.

Baltimore needed the Chiefs to beat the Chargers for them to get in and Kansas City handed San Diego a 19-7 loss.

Joe Flacco tossed two touchdown passes and threw for 312 yards in the victory.

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Browns Suspend WR Gordon

Browns Suspend WR Gordon

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(CLEVELAND, OH) -- The Cleveland Browns has suspended Josh Gordon for the regular season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.

Gordon was placed on the reserve/suspended list Saturday after missing a team walkthrough.

Before the latest suspension, Gordon missed the first 11 games of the season after testing positive for marijuana under the NFL's substance abuse policy.

He struggled to acclimate to the new offense in Cleveland and posted 24 catches for 303 touchdowns, with no touchdowns.  

In a corresponding move, the team promoted wide receiver Phil Bates from the practice squad.

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Browns’ QB Johnny Manziel Admits He Needs Take Job More Seriously

Browns’ QB Johnny Manziel Admits He Needs Take Job More Seriously

Elsa/Getty Images(BEREA, Ohio) -- With Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel's rookie season over, he admits that this year has taught him he needs to put in more time to become a successful player in the NFL.

Manziel struggled mightily in limited action this season, including his one and only start where he completed just 10 of 18 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

"It's been a year of growing up for me," Manziel said. "It's a job for me now. I have to take it a lot more seriously than maybe I did at first."

A hamstring injury in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers will keep him out this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Manziel came into the NFL with plenty of hype, but failed to live up to it. He seems to know the root of his struggles.

"I haven't painted the greatest picture of me being in here and staying on top of my stuff," Manziel said. "I'm sure the stuff off the field has negatively affected that. But I know, and what matters to me the most, is that guys in this locker room see that I'm working...This is my life and my job and I'm 100 percent committed to that."

The Browns traded back into the first round of the draft to select Manziel 22nd overall.

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Johnny Manziel’s Dud Debut

Johnny Manziel’s Dud Debut

Elsa/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- With all the hype surrounding Sunday's debut of Johnny Manziel, not much can be said after a 30-0 beat down at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cleveland Browns first round quarterback was downright dreadful; completing 10-18 passes for 80 yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked three times.

Manziel seemed lost and confused. While under pressure, "Johnny Football" panicked, his mechanics became sloppy and he began to stare down receivers.  The same magic that captured highlights in college were lowlights on the NFL stage.

The Bengals (9-4-1) ran the ball all over the Browns, as rookie Jeremy Hill pounded the rock for 148 yards on 25 carries including two touchdowns. 

This latest loss will likely cripple the Browns playoff chances as they have now dropped four of their last five and their record falls to 7-7.

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Pettine Explains Why Manziel Is Starting

Pettine Explains Why Manziel Is Starting

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(BEREA, Ohio) -- The Cleveland Browns will go with Johnny Manziel at quarterback on Sunday against the Bengals.

Head coach Mike Pettine said Wednesday he made the move "because of the lack of performance at that position over the last four games."

"They have to understand that as a unit, if we don't pick our play around the quarterback, we'd be extremely foolish to expect different results," he continued.

Cleveland has dropped their last two and sit in last place in the AFC North.

"Certainly a great challenge this week to be back in the division," Pettine said.  "Looking forward to being back out in front of the dog pound.  We're expecting a high level of intensity for a lot of reasons.  I think it'll be a playoff type atmosphere."

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Luck Rallies Colts to Down Browns

Luck Rallies Colts to Down Browns

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(CLEVELAND, Oh.) -- Andrew Luck lead a thrilling second half rally to defeat the Cleveland Browns 25-24.

Saturday, with the Indianapolis Colts trailing 21-7 entering the third quarter, Luck engineed four scoring drives to earn the Colts their ninth win. The final march went 11 plays, 90 yards and was capped by a one-yard touchdown toss to T.Y Hilton with :36 second remaining.

Luck struggled early as the Cleveland defense harrassed him to the tune of three sacks and two interceptions; including one to Browns rookie corner Justin Gilbert that was returned for a touchdown. The Colts signal caller rebounded though finishing the say completing 24 of 53 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns. 

T.Y Hilton found his groove, connecting with Luck ten times for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The speedy wideout brought the momentum back to the Colts when he escaped several defenders for a 42 yard score late in the third quarter.

The Colts will host their division rival Houston Texans next week with an opportunity to clinch the AFC South.

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Cundiff Does It Again, Browns Beat Falcons Late

Cundiff Does It Again, Browns Beat Falcons Late

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- The Cleveland Browns let a nine point fourth quarter lead slip away, but kicker Billy Cundiff hit another game winning field goal as time expired to give his team a 26-24 win over the Falcons on Sunday.

Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer threw three picks, but found a way to lead his team down the field in the final minute to set up the Cundiff game winner.

Browns Josh Gordon pulled in eight passes for 127 yards in his first game since being suspended for 10 games due to violating the NFL substance abuse policy.

"I knew the guys weren't going to quit on me," Gordon said. "I definitely wasn't going to quit on them."

Hoyer admitted that he was not happy with his performance even though the Browns came out with the win.

"Nothing to lose, really," Hoyer said when asked about the final drive. "Go out and play fearless. That's all I have at that point."

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Browns Cut Ben Tate

Browns Cut Ben Tate

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(CLEVELAND, Oh.) -- The Cleveland Browns signed running back Ben Tate to a two-year, $6.2 million contract this offseason.

Tuesday, the Browns released Tate after he suited up for only ten games.  

The Browns signed Tate away from the Houston Texans to be their feature back in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's offense. Tate proved to offer little in Cleveland.

When playing his old team this past week, Tate carried the ball twice for -9 yards. 

Tate had also complained about sharing carries with fellow running backs Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. 

When asked about the release, General Manager Ray Farmer stated, "With all the transactions we make while constructing our roster, it will always be our intent to do what is best for our football team. This move is no different and we wish Ben the best going forward."

 

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Browns’ Gordon Returns from Suspension

Browns’ Gordon Returns from SuspensionMatt Sullivan/Getty Images(CLEVELAND, Oh.) -- Cleveland Browns superstar wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated by the NFL after serving a 10 game suspension. Gordon was suspended by the league after testing positive for marijuana. It was his th...

Brian Hoyer: Our Goal Is to Go 1-0

Brian Hoyer: Our Goal Is to Go 1-0

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- The Cleveland Browns (6-3) will host the Houston Texans (4-5) on Sunday.  

Cleveland continues to impress this year and quarterback Brian Hoyer knows the importance of this game.

"Our main goal this week is to be 1-0," Hoyer said. "We're not going to get a berth into the playoffs based off this game. We realize its one game at a time, so from here on out its seven one game seasons."

Hoyer will be going up against an old teammate -- Ryan Mallett, the starting quarterback this week, who was a backup to Tom Brady in New England.

"I can honestly say it's the strongest arm I've ever seen," Hoyer said of Mallett.  

Hoyer was also in New England when Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was the defensive coordinator for the Patriots.

"I don't think I'd be the player I am today without Billy," Hoyer said. "My time in New England, I remember him telling me 'I don't really coach Tom Brady, I just kind of guide him in the right direction and game plan', I feel like I got the benefit of his extra coaching.  It really helped me out as far as a quarterback in this league."

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Browns Win the Battle of Ohio

Browns Win the Battle of Ohio

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- Three Cleveland Browns running backs scored touchdowns to lead the team past the Cincinnati Bengals 24-3 on Thursday night.

The win snaps the Browns 17-game road losing streak within their division and ends the Bengals' streak of 14 consecutive regular season home games without a loss.

"A huge boost for our guys," Browns head coach Mike Pettine said. "Just look at the streaks we ended. Not many people gave us a chance."

The Browns (6-3) are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC North.

Linebacker Craig Robertson intercepted Andy Dalton's pass on the Bengal's first drive of the game, giving Cleveland the ball on Cincinnati's 18 yard line. It took the Browns only 5 plays to score from there -- the final being a Ben Tate four-yard rush up the middle for a touchdown.The Bengals would add a field goal, but the Browns would answer, scoring early in the second quarter, this time on an Isaiah Crowell two-yard touchdown run.Terrance West's one-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter gave the Brown's a 24-3 lead, putting the game out of reach for the Bengals.

Andy Dalton had a horrible game for Cincinnati completing 10-of-33 passes for 86 yards and three interceptions.

While the Bengals' fans didn't have much to cheer for when it came to their team, they had a lot to be happy for after the first quarter: The Bengals held a ceremony honoring four-year-old Leah Still, who is battling Stage 4 pediatric cancer and is the daughter of Cincinnati defensive tackle Devon Still.

Leah was on the field as the Bengals announced a $1.3 million donation to Cincinnati's Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Leah's name.

It was also the first time Leah was able to watch her father play since 2012.

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