Johnny Manziel was on the field Tuesday for the Cleveland Browns' first day of voluntary organized team activities, appearing on the practice field in front of reporters for the first time since his 10-week stint in rehab ended last month.
For the second time in as many years, Manziel is going into practice as the team's second-string quarterback, although this time it's behind newly acquired veteran Josh McCown rather than the departed Brian Hoyer.
Manziel has a lot of work to do after a disastrous rookie season, during which he made way more headlines for his partying lifestyle than his play on the field. Last season, he started in two games and played in four, finishing with no touchdowns and two interceptions with a passer rating of 42.0.
Back in January, Manziel checked himself into Caron Addiction Treatment Center in Pennsylvania for an unspecified issue. He was discharged on April 10 and recently moved from downtown Cleveland to a golf community on the west side.
Perhaps most importantly, Manziel seems to be earning the support of his teammates. McCown praised his backup's passing ability: "He can really spin it."
Safety Donte Whitner spoke highly of Manziel's work ethic, saying the quarterback's car is usually the first one in the team lot and last to leave.
“He understands the mistakes that he's made, so he's taken the proper steps to try to keep himself out of trouble,” Whitner said. “Now he understands how serious it is. He'll be all right.”
Whitner added that a year ago Manziel spent Memorial Day partying in Las Vegas. "This year," Whitner said, "he was in Cleveland."