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Johnny Chronicles: Manziel takes on the media at combine


INDIANAPOLIS -- From the NFL Scouting Combine, the day that was in the always unpredictable life of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:

Two up

1. The hardest fastball Manziel received during 15 minutes with reporters was up around the chin; regarding his counseling for alcohol use at Texas A&M, reported by last summer. His answer, frankly, was a bit nonsensical. That doesn't mean it wasn't truthful -- who hasn't done a poor job putting words together when faced with an uncomfortable question? But if we were to take Manziel's answer word for word, the counseling began last spring and went on for two years (huh?), and after initially saying the report of counseling wasn't true, he went on to give an account of the counseling with what he called an "in-house guy". OK. Roll the tape.

2. What's up with the Dallas Cowboys interviewing Johnny Manziel at the NFL combine? With only 60 interview slots available, Dallas used one on a prospect who makes zero sense for them. A Manziel Mystery, to be sure.

Two down

1. Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith passed on the chance for a takedown of Manziel on Friday, when he was asked how he felt about Manziel "daring" the Texans not to draft him. "He's a colorful, confident guy," Smith said. "You've got to appreciate that about him. I don't have a problem with that."

2. Johnny Football measured a quarter-inch short of what he predicted last week, coming in at 5-foot-11 3/4 at the combine weigh-in early Friday morning. Don't get down on him just yet, though, because his hand measurement came in at 9 7/8, very big for his size and, to NFL scouts and personnel men, very important for the quarterback position.

Why so serious?

Appropriately enough for the combine, where prospects can be asked in interviews to show off their football knowledge on the greaseboard during interviews with NFL clubs, Manziel posted this selfie earlier this week:

What's with the 'Charlie's Angels' bracelet, you wonder? Answer here.

To throw, or not to throw

Questioned about his decision not to throw at the combine, Manziel ultimately pointed to agent Erik Burkhardt. "Extremely hard decision for me not to throw here, I'm an extremely competitive person," he said. "It's something that my agent really kind of advised me on."

Manziel said he will be more than willing to make "any throw on the field they want to see" at his pro day performance March 27.

Little Johnny

Denver Broncos vice president John Elway stopped himself just short of a Manziel joke Friday.

"I think he's a great little player," he said. After hearing laughter from reporters, Elway quipped, "I shouldn't say little."

Elway tipped his cap to Manziel's competitive nature and called him "fun to watch on him."

Brady only kids

Tom Brady wants speed training from Johnny Manziel? He was only kidding, of course. But something tells us there is a golden GIF image to be made from the joke. Something of Manziel scrambling all over the field with a photo-shopped Tom Brady head, perhaps? Use your imagination.

Honesty appreciated

With a parade of NFL coaches and general managers deflecting questions about the perceived disadvantage of shorter quarterbacks like Manziel, leave it to Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians to "keep it real."

The final word

Manziel's most important answer of the day, regarding his maturity off the field: "I believe whenever I decided to make this decision to turn professional, that it was a time to really put my college years in the past. This is a job now. There are guys' families, coaches' families, jobs on the line. For me, it won't be a hard thing to kick or anything. It won't be a hard deal to not do."

Now perhaps the most important question is, which clubs believe him?

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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