Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR.
Johnny be a Brown: Johnny Manziel has heard the flirtations from Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who talks about Manziel often on his own radio show, but said he doesn’t think about changing scenery to restart his career.
“I’m not giving up on myself being here,” Manziel said Wednesday.
“That’s [Jones’ interest in him] been talked about since the day I left [Texas] A&M, pretty consistently. I’m not giving up on my situation here.
“I was brought here and I believe I still have people in this organization that want me to be here. I’m still here for a reason. I’m here now controlling what I can control and trying to play well. I still have a lot to prove in this league, obviously.”
Manziel’s appearance in front of media was his first since being demoted two weeks ago for partying during the team’s bye weekend and lying about it. He was reinstated earlier in the day by coach Mike Pettine, who said there would be “harsh repercussions” if Manziel represents himself badly again.
“I think I’m very fortunate,” Manziel said. “The past couple weeks I was forced to learn a hard lesson. I had to learn it the hard way. I’m lucky to be back in the position I am. I’m definitely not taking it lightly.
“Obviously, there’s a way to conduct yourself that 31 other guys do each week. You’ve got to follow that example and realize that this is a very prestigious situation that I’m in, being a starting quarterback in the NFL. I’ve got to take pride in that and act accordingly.”
Manziel said he hopes to provide a spark over the last four games and make something out of a Browns’ season that has sunk to 2-10 after seven losses in a row.
“It comes down to pride,” he said. “If people have pride in what they do and their craft. I’m completely bunkered in for these last four weeks and will come in every day and give every ounce of energy to try to win these last four games.”
Back to drawing board: Cam Erving was chosen with the No. 19 pick in the first round ostensibly to play center when Alex Mack chooses to enforce a contract clause to opt out and enter free agency in 2016.
One of the selling points about Erving was that, in the meantime, he could play any position on the offensive line. At Florida State, he started at left tackle one year and moved to center the next.
Erving never played left guard before the Browns moved him there as an injury replacement for Joel Bitonio. Now the plug has been pulled on that experiment.
Erving struggled in two starts and is being benched for Austin Pasztor, Pettine said.
Pasztor was claimed off waivers from Jacksonville in September. He will get the start against the San Francisco 49ers.
“I don’t think anybody is more frustrated than [Erving] is because he will have a stretch of four or five good plays where he does his job, does it well, but he has made critical mistakes and ones that have had a big effect, whether it is giving up a quarterback hit or a sack,” Pettine said.
“We have not lost confidence or faith in Cam, but it is just something that Austin is a guy here on campus that we also want to see play, and he has been great since he has been here. He works his tail off and he knows what to do. We will see how he is this week, but we just felt it was best to go ahead and switch those two.”
Erving had a blunt assessment of his demotion.
“I just got to get better. I played like [bunk]. So I’m not starting,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and make excuses for anything. I have to do a better job of going out and executing. Point blank period.”
Quick hitters: It’s December and reporters are repeating the same question asked in preseason: Will Terrelle Pryor get in a game soon? “There is a reasonable chance that he will be up this week,” Pettine said ... Still in concussion protocol are cornerback Joe Haden, cornerback Justin Gilbert, receiver Andrew Hawkins and receiver Taylor Gabriel.