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Johnny Chronicles: Manziel lands new commercial, new critic

The week that was in the always unpredictable life of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:

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Two up

1. The Johnny Football commercial debut was made in the most understated way, a McDonald's ad in which Manziel had no speaking part and appeared on camera so briefly that more viewers probably thought they'd just seen him than knew they had. His Heisman Trophy pose helped give it away. LeBron James starred in the ad, even though the premise was that James was joining a club in which Manziel already was a member. All to get this across: Buy a hamburger. Of course.

Suffice it to say that it will be Nike bringing Manziel to the forefront when his time to headline a commercial finally arrives.

2. Training up for the draft in San Diego, one would think, might offer Manziel slightly more anonymity than if he were doing so back in Texas. Perhaps not. But Johnny Football doesn't seem to mind, even when he's just out for ice cream.

Two down

1. You knew ESPN analyst Merril Hoge's thorough blasting of Manziel's game this week would be met with some blowback from the Johnny Football defense team. Among other things, Hoge said Manziel isn't especially accurate, and that he has "bust written all over him." Here's a unique response from the Twitter feed of texags.com, which refutes Hoge's accuracy criticism with an illustration of former SEC quarterbacks who had a lower completion percentage than Manziel. Among them: Former first-round pick Peyton Manning. Nice. But in adding former first-round picks Tim Couch and Tim Tebow to the list, Texags didn't exactly make the case where Manziel's potential is concerned.

2. The perks that will go along with Manziel signing an endorsement deal with Nike will be many, but the first one we know of is definitely a perk only in the eye of the beholder (us has-beens who still have a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors in the closet wouldn't be caught dead in these). Johnny Football, on the other hand, Manziel showed off his new Air Jordan V "Oregon Ducks" sneakers loud and proud on Instagram this week, presumably a tip from Nike CEO Phil Knight, an avid Oregon man. With customized stitching of his nickname into the tongue, Manziel had better not leave those laying around. They're apparently ultra-rare, with a mysterious and perhaps never-to-happen release date. Yet somehow, they've show up on some pretty popular feet other than just Manziel's.

Rocket Man(ziel)

Manziel made his way to Houston on Thursday night for some NBA action, taking in the host Rockets' 129-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He met up with Rockets star Dwight Howard and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster for a quick photo that Howard posted to his Instagram account. Fittingly, the photo appears to have been taken in a training room, as the oft-injured Howard sat out the game with a left ankle strain. Unfortunately for you sneakerheads, Howard's pic cuts off at the bottom just above where we could learn whether Manziel was wearing his Oregon Ducks Air Jordan V's.

Polling place

Last week, the Johnny Chronicles polled readers about whether Manziel would best fit the Tampa Bay Bucs, Minnesota Vikings, or Tennessee Titans if he were to fall far enough for those three to draft him at picks Nos. 7, 8 and 11. Most responses went with Minnesota, which has been a more popular landing spot of late for Manziel in various mock drafts.

For this week's Twitter poll, let us know whether you think Manziel will be the first, second or third quarterback chosen. Reply to @NFL_CFB with the hashtag #JohnnyChrons.

Draft it all, hype included

So you thought it was a given that NFL clubs debating whether to draft Manziel should put aside all the hype and excitement that would go along with his acquisition? Silly you. Earlier this week, radio host Dan Patrick not only raised the question, but took the position that the Manziel buzz should be incorporated into the war room. At least, a few particular war rooms. Fortunately for Patrick, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, as a guest on the show, was there to be the voice of reason.

All he can stand

If we at Chronicles were a college defensive coordinator who had faced Manziel for the last time, we'd have taken the game film and burned it in a blazing fire, cursed it, buried it and repressed the memory as best as possible. Rice defensive coordinator Chris Thurmond, fortunately, isn't quite so impulsive. But it couldn't have been easy for him to do this.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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