INDIANAPOLIS -- Johnny Manziel was quizzed about reported counseling he received at Texas A&M for alcohol and anger management issues Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, and unlike his answers to virtually every other question he received in a 15-minute stretch with dozens of reporters, his response to that one didn't completely make sense.
Initially Manziel said those reports, derived from an espn.com feature story published last summer, were untrue. He then, however, went on to detail counseling he received at the behest of Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin. He also indicated the counseling began last spring, but went on for "a couple of years."
"After last spring, coach Sumlin kind of came to me and said they had an in-house guy, wanted me to just 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," Manziel said. "Those continued throughout the next couple of years. Had a great relationship with (the counselor), and it's really nothing more than that."
Manziel's initial refuting of the report could have been in regard to the anger management element of the story. A follow-up question about the alcohol counseling asked Manziel specifically what his counselor's title was, which he couldn't recall.
The former Heisman Trophy winner is among the most scrutinized prospects available in the 2014 draft, in part because of his off-field reputation as a partier, and as well, because he is expected to be chosen early in the first round. Manziel said he would love to stay in his home state to play for the Houston Texans, who hold the No. 1 overall pick and are in need of a quarterback.
A few other key remarks from Manziel:
» On his 5-11 3/4 height measurement: "I feel like I play 10-feet tall."
» On misconceptions about his ability: "I'm just looking to show up all the people who are saying that I'm just an improviser. I feel like I worked extremely hard this year to all around hone in on my game. So continuing to do that. I'm working out in San Diego, continuing to do that and get better as a pocket passer and a quarterback in general."
» On what makes him special: "I think I'm probably one of the most competitive people on the face of the earth. Whether it's sitting here playing tic-tac-toe or rock-paper-scissors or whatever it may be, I want to win. It's something that really, dating back to all the way to being a kid, I don't like the taste of losing."
» On his poor performance against LSU:"It was a game that felt like just a little off, in all aspects. There's really no excuses. There was a fade route, I remember, down the sideline Mike Evans gets off great press coverage. A ball that I hit Mike with nine times out of ten, ten times out of ten, and just overthrew him about three yards. It was something that was just a really uncharacteristic day."
» On increasing his maturity in the NFL:"Absolutely. 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. I'll be extremely focused on whatever organization I'll be at, and really pour my heart out to try and be football 24/7 with that team.*" *