Houston (CBS Houston) – Johnny Manziel said it and it came through loud and clear on the field of Texas A&M’s indoor facility Thursday during his Pro Day. Sometimes waiting to be the last guy up brings out the worst. But, in the case of Manziel, last might have slightly put him at an advantage.
Manziel was the last of the Big Three to hold his Pro Day that certainly didn’t lack of big plays or big names. In addition to the many NFL General Managers, coaches, and scouts, President George H.W. Bush and former Texas governor and A&M alum Rick Perry were in attendance. That’s just a reflection of how Texas does things: BIG!
Manziel’s performance on the field was big as well. He wore jersey and shorts, but wore shoulder pads with the attached rib protection and his helmet. That’s about as much as he could simulate a real game situation minus the contact. He completed 61-of-64 passes. Two were drops and one looked to be uncatchable. Otherwise, Manziel was on target.
The one critical element quarterbacks must have is confidence and Manziel isn’t short of it. Following Thursday’s workout, he showed the confidence and moxie that teams like to see from a future leader of a franchise during his post-workout interview on the NFL Network.
“My main thing is, I’m not scared of anything. I don’t play that way,” said Manziel. “Why come out here in a scripted workout and be scared of anything?”
NFL Analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner like what he saw of Manziel. “He showed us he can make all the throws.”
You can bet that new Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien and General Manager Rick Smith saw the same results. The plays were scripted for the Pro Day by top quarterbacks’ trainer, George Whitfield, of Whitfield Athletix. However, in question is what exactly were O’Brien and Smith hoping to see? Manziel is hoping he showed them enough.
“I want them to think that I can do anything that they can ask me to do within the confines of their playbook. Whether it’s stretch right or stretch left, iso, quick pop pass, five-step-drop, seven-step-(drop), five-step-burn, (or), three-step-quick-out. Whatever it would be, I want them to know that I can do it all and that’s kind of what our workout tried to show them a little bit.”
“We took a lot of time trying to lay out that script,” said Whitfield. “And like I said – every throw in that deal is part of NFL offenses and concepts.”
DECISIONS FOR TEXANS
The Texans might have been set on quarterback Blake Bortles from UCF. However, Manziel’s performance on Thursday during Pro Day could make them think twice.
“Johnny is unique,” says Whitfield. “I’ve been with some special guys and he’s right there with all of them. He just has that over my dead body mentality on everything. If we put a ping pong table out on the middle of the deal today, he would have looked at every one of you, (reporters), in the eye and says OK – who wants it!”
He’s the type player the Texans need. They also need a quarterback who can throw the football deep when necessary which is what Manziel did throughout the show. But, it was at the end where he closed the event with a roughly 60-yard bomb to favorite target Mike Evans and ran to meet him with a body high-five.
However, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network told our Patrick Creighton that Manziel will need to prove his unique skills on one other platform.
“Manziel’s pro day was solid, everything I expected to see,” says Mayock. “It doesn’t change my mind. I think the biggest question that Johnny Manziel has to answer he can’t do until he gets to training camp because it has to do with learning how to win in the pocket.”
The Texans have a big decision to make- to take Manziel or pass.
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