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Mike Pettine visits with Johnny Manziel, says QB is 'very determined'


INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Pettine said Wednesday he met with Duke Johnson Jr. last week for the first time since the Browns quarterback checked himself into a treatment facility.

Out of respect for Manziel's privacy, Pettine kept the details of the meeting brief. NFL rules prohibit coaches and players from meeting for football-based reasons.

On multiple occasions throughout his media sessions Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Pettine expressed multiple times that high-profile quarterback was "in a much better place now."

Pettine's comments echoed those made by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam one week earlier in a meeting with local reporters.

"I wanted to go visit him and see how he's doing and let him know that we're proud of him for the decision he made to go in," Pettine said. "Obviously, he has our full support.

"He's in a much better place now than before he went in. He's very determined to come out of it in a much better way."

Pettine said he wasn't sure when Manziel would leave the treatment facility. He entered it on his own volition in late January.

With Manziel's uncertain timetable and veteran Brian Hoyer's upcoming free agency, Pettine said "all options are on the table" with how the Browns hope to shore up the quarterback position in time for the 2015 season opener. Connor Shaw, who started the Browns regular season finale at Baltimore and played well after spending the previous 16 weeks on the practice squad, is set to return.

"We still don't know based on what he was going through whether or not he is that answer," Pettine said of Manziel. "There's too much unknown. I'd obviously be scared if we had a game this weekend.

"It's a position we're well aware of where our depth chart is. We'll look to address it here in the coming months."

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