Manziel said he was hesitant, much like he was during his first few games at Texas A&M.
“I think with my play in college, I set the bar very high for myself. So people are going to expect what I did in college consistently,” he said. “But, I mean, it’s a different league. It’s a different level. It’s a different team. It’s a completely different environment for me.”
The environment may have changed, but Manziel’s place in the spotlight has not. Since being selected by the Browns in April, he has been drafted by the San Diego Padres, sat courtside at the NBA Finals and partied in Las Vegas. Where other players avoid attention, he has shown a tendency to embrace it.
With that mentality, and the scrutiny it welcomes, there is a greater chance for missteps like Monday night’s gesture.
“There’s always a lot of hype being here with me, so I’m really used to it,” he said. “And I’ll take it in stride moving forward.”
With those words, Manziel stepped away from the microphone. Flanked by team staff members, he strolled toward the open door and down a tunnel to the bus, his forehead shining with sweat.