Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer held a news conference on Tuesday to address the Browns season as well as the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Johnny Manziel.
Farmer opened the news conference with the negatives and positives of the 2014 season. He expressed disappointment on the final stretch of the season where they lost five straight games. In a positive light Farmer stated, "bringing meaningful football to Cleveland in the month of December is something we should hang our hats on and it's something to be positive about."
The Browns 7-9 record was in fact an improvement from the 4-12 season a year prior. The Browns battled all sorts of adversities in 2014, to begin the 2014 offseason. They had a first time general manager and a first time head coach. Days after the 2014 draft, they lost their best offensive weapon Josh Gordon for the year due to a 16-game suspension. Gordon would in the end only be suspended for 10 games.
With Farmer's second pick as a General Manager, he and the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall pick. Manziel came with plenty of hype and some would say plenty of red flags. Manziel was the 2012 Heisman Award Trophy winner. He would finally get his chance in the NFL in Week 15. His first NFL start did not go as planned. Manziel threw for 80 yards and was intercepted twice in the 30-0 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. Fast-forward one week, Manziel left the Carolina game with a hamstring injury and would not return for the rest of the year.
There was a report that Manziel threw a party two nights before the Browns season finale, which led to wide receiver Josh Gordon and fellow rookie Justin Gilbert to be late/miss Saturday's walk through. Manziel would shut those rumors down on Monday saying he did not throw a party but would want to be held accountable for his actions.
"The words don't mean anything, I'm not a big word guy. It's all about action," General Manager Ray Farmer said to a question regarding Manziel talking a good game about wanting to be held accountable.
"I do think he can develop into a solid starter in this league, yes," Farmer responded when asked if he thinks Manziel can develop into an elite starter in the NFL. "I think the sample size available, as you said, is small and I'll say to that end that we all got to be patient. I think there's an opportunity for the guy to make changes, it's up to him if he wants to make these changes, but I think the talent is in his body to accomplish that."
As for Farmer and Pettine, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam stated after the Ravens loss that Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine would return to the team in 2015.