BEREA, Ohio — Johnny Manziel was taken aback by all the flak and attention his Memorial Day weekend trip to Las Vegas caused.
"I'm very surprised it's actually a story," the Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback said after looking sharp in Wednesday's organized team activities.
"I've been in here every day working extremely hard trying to earn my place and do what I need to do. ... For me to get a free weekend, and get to spend some time with friends and family of mine, and just have fun and relax and get away from the grind a little bit and then come back to work and do what I'm supposed to do — I don't really feel that's a story."
But Manziel knows better.
Such episodes have long come with the territory of his Johnny Football persona, cultivated during two years as a superstar for Texas A&M. The dynamic playmaker's talents enticed the Browns to trade up to select him 22nd overall in the NFL draft earlier this month.
"I knew going into it, I can't go anywhere without people knowing that I'm there," said Manziel. "I'm used to it by now. Fair or unfair, whatever it may be, that's my life.
"I don't live my life according to you guys. I'm going to continue to live my life to the fullest and continue to be committed to this game and trying to earn my place in this locker room with these coaches with this organization. If I want to go out and have some fun — and it doesn't hinder what my main goals in life are — then I really don't care what anybody has to say."
Browns coach Mike Pettine told USA TODAY Sports that Manziel alerted him beforehand about the Vegas trip.
"I thought he handled it very well," Pettine said. "He said it was a trip he already had planned. ... He's been great. He's in the playbook. Now if he was out doing something illegal we'd have an issue.
"That just comes with the territory of who he is. ... I think he handled it very well, very maturely.
"I know he had his iPad with him. And I know he wasn't using it as a coaster."
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wasn't disturbed by Manziel's Vegas weekend, either.
"I didn't talk to him about it. I messed with him about it, though," Shanahan told USA TODAY Sports. "I just said, 'How come you didn't invite me?'
"I'm just joking. ... It doesn't bother me. He's been working his tail off.
"He has to realize when he does stuff like that, he's going to get attacked for it."
Shanahan and Pettine were both impressed with the progress Manziel has made and how sharp he looked Tuesday running 11-on-11 drills with the first team since veteran starter Brian Hoyer has yet to be cleared for full-squad practices as he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.
Follow Jim Corbett on Twitter @ByJimCorbett