Johnny Football returned to his Texas roots last weekend, going back to where he was a celebrated Heisman Trophy winner.
During the Cleveland Browns' bye, flamboyant rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel received his Aggie ring at halftime of a Texas A&M win over Arkansas. He caught up with former teammates and sang the Aggie War Hymn.
Now that the trip down Memory Lane is over, Manziel is back to his reality as backup to veteran starter Brian Hoyer.
After declaring early for the NFL and failing to win the Browns' starting job, Manziel was asked last week whether he regrets his decision.
"I don't think I miss school, but I miss those guys in the locker room," Manziel told Cleveland reporters. "I think it's fair for me to say that I miss college life, but this is the decision that I made. And I knew very well going into the draft last year that it was going to be different for me and going to be a time for me to grow up. That's the path I chose. And if I wanted to stay in college and sleep in and go to class and horse around like I was doing the past couple years, then I should have stayed."
Life is different now for Manziel, who is adjusting to sitting on the bench for the first time and being on a team with older players.
"It's just different," Manziel said. "Everybody here goes home to their families. They've got a lot of other things going on. In college, you're in the same class with some of the guys, you're doing the same things on campus, you're doing the same things outside of football, too. I feel like you're a lot more of a tight-knit group in college, but at the same time, there's still a lot of love in this locker room and a lot of that in an NFL locker room I still feel."
Known for his hard-partying ways, Manziel also said he planned to get in touch with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston is a Heisman Trophy winner who won a national championship, but was recently suspended for the Clemson game for shouting lewd comments about women. Winston was once accused of sexual assault and absolved by police. He also stole crab legs from a supermarket.
"I'll reach out to him and say a little something to him," Manziel said. "It's the middle of the season now and I don't think he wants anybody that's not on his squad interfering. But Jameis is a guy that I've had a good relationship with and want to help in as many ways as I can, or if anything I can say or I've been through can help him than I would love to do that. He's continuing to grow up. He's a young guy, too, but I really, I think he'll figure it out as he continues to go on."
As a Heisman Trophy winner, Manziel said he feels a burden to live up to that status.
"It's heavier than the trophy is itself," Manziel said. "I think there is a lot of responsibility, a lot of scrutiny has come with it. It's a lot of weight to have on your shoulders, but it's part of what comes with winning that trophy."
Bengals on a roll
Undefeated through three games and drawing praise as a viable Super Bowl contender, the Bengals are trying not to get ahead of themselves.
As they prepare to square off with the reeling New England Patriots on Sunday, the Bengals are determined to not get cocky.
"Bill Parcells used to always say, 'Don't bite the cheese,'" cornerback Terence Newman told Cincinnati reporters. "When people are telling you you're good you have to look in the mirror and know exactly where you are as a team, where you are as a player. We look at the film and we know we're not nearly as good as we can be. To me, that's how you avoid being disappointed in a trap game."
Miller still going strong
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller has maintained a high standard of play through a decade in the NFL.
Miller caught a career-high 10 passes on 11 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown during a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Miller has 21 catches for 197 yards this season, and 487 career receptions for 5,470 yards and 41 touchdowns.
"He's just tough," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh reporters. "He's mentally tough. He's physically tough. He gives everything he has every single day. That's what makes him so special and what makes it an honor to play with a guy like that."