Johnny Manziel measures up, maybe not in height, but definitely in heart. That was the sense that people walked away with when Manziel measured in under 6 feet, 5’11 and 3/4ths to be exact at the NFL Combine. However when he spoke to reporters after, he tried to express how much he puts into playing. One measurable that was in Manziel’s favor was his enormously large hands that measured in at 9 and 7/8ths, the largest of the consensus top 3 QBs, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, and Manziel himself.
When asked if he wanted to comment on his measurements, Manziel said, “No sir. I play with a lot of heart, play with a lot of passion. I feel like I play like I’m 10-feet tall. A measurement to me is just a number.” Manziel believes he is 1 of the most competitive people on the face of this earth and that is something he thinks that is something that makes him special.
Then Manziel talked about how he’s grown on and off the field. “I think you look at on the field stuff, from freshman year until what I was this year, I tried to really hone in on some things this year, get better in the pocket and continue to develop as a passer. Off the field, some scrutiny off the field, but continuing to learn, continuing to learn from my mistakes and continuing to grow up. I have an opportunity now moving into a professional phase. This is life now, this is a job for me, taking it very seriously and I’m really excited about the future”, said Manziel.
When asked if the off field scrutiny was fair, Manziel said, “I think it is what it is. I’m able to handle it and able to really adapt to it. It’s not something that gets to me all that much, trying to now being in San Diego, tried to really hone in and focus on what I need to be doing to get ready for the combine, get ready for pro day and really from there moving on to being a professional and trying to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.”
Manziel has been rumored to probably be picked between the 1 and 4 range. So when asked if he’d be fine with possibly playing in the cold weather of Cleveland, Manziel answered, “Yea, any circumstances, any situation that’s thrown my way, that’s part of being a quarterback. You have to handle what’s thrown your way, whether it’s cold weather, rain, you look at some of these games this year, Jacksonville, Arizona, whoever these warm teams are, these teams still play in the cold. It’s football, it’s a man’s game and it’s played in the snow, it’s played in the wet weather, it’s played in tough environments.”
Another knock on Manziel has been immaturity, however when asked about his leadership, Manziel replied, “You can ask my teammates, you can go back and ask anybody that when we needed to make a play those guys would want the ball in my hands. A good example is the Duke game. Wasn’t really looking as great as we wanted it to in the first half, but between me, Mike, some of these seniors we had to get the troops rallied and continuing to say ‘No matter how deep, how dark it looked on the scoreboard, keep plugging away, that the ball would eventually bounce our way.’ Sure enough we kept fighting and the defense made some big plays at the end to pull out a victory. I think the guys on my team know I’ll do anything and everything for them til there’s no time left on the clock, on or off the field, whatever it may be.”
Manziel also dispelled the rumors of him going to an alcohol counselor and 1 for anger management. “No sir, I don’t believe those are true. I went after last spring, coach Sumlin kind of came to me and said they have an in-house guy, wanted me to sit down and meet with him. I was more than willing to learn whatever I could from him and sit down and have meetings with him. Those continued throughout throughout the next couple years. Had a great relationship with him. It was really nothing more than that”, stated Manziel. When asked what his title was, Manziel said, “I’m not sure what his title is. I knew who I was meeting with, but I’m not sure of his official title. Something along the lines of just a counselor.”
Character will be something that will be brought up a lot regarding Manziel. He has already said he’s willing to change his lifestyle and when asked what does he have to do to convince teams that he has the right character, Manziel stated, “Just be myself. Obviously there’s nothing I can do going back to change what’s on film. Hopefully what’s on film will speak volumes, whatever they do think. Now it’s a chance for them to sit and know me personally, ask whatever questions they want. I’m not shying away from anything they do have to ask me, whether it’s wanting me to throw at private workouts and ask questions at my pro day. Whatever it may be, I’m more than open to answering anything that they have to throw out at me.”
Manziel has decided he will do everything at the NFL Combine, except throw. He will throw for teams in private workouts. One thing is for sure, he maybe a little guy and might have some technical flaws, but no one is going to outwork Johnny Manziel.
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