NFL Wire News

Manziel’s rehab factored in Browns rejecting ‘Hard Knocks’


Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said the Browns met with NFL Films and decided the team did not want to be the subject of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this season.

Pettine said one of the reasons is quarterback Johnny Manziel’s offseason stay in rehab.

“You just weigh everything in,” Pettine said at NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “Because being a part of ‘Hard Knocks,’ having been there, knowing they’re going to look to cover the team’s biggest current storylines, it’s obvious that he would be a point of attention.”

Pettine understands the effects of having cameras at every corner. He was an assistant with the New York when the Jets were featured on “Hard Knocks.”

“It’s hard to be yourself,” Pettine told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Some guys played to the camera. If you have to change, then it’s a distraction.”

Another reason Cleveland has begged off is that Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer are entering only their second seasons together and believe the show would be a distraction as they try to make the Browns competitive.

The Browns think Manziel will be out of rehab and back in Cleveland in time for a team workout on April 20.

But Farmer said Monday that the team will not have exclusive authority in determining when the second-year quarterback rejoins the team. Instead, that will be decided by counselors overseeing Manziel’s rehab treatment.

Farmer did say if the oft-troubled quarterback is prepared, he “should get every opportunity to be the guy.”

Manziel will be in an aftercare program once he gets out of treatment.

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