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BWTB: Manziel the teacher?

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Add "teacher" to the list of titles of which quarterback Johnny Manziel can boast.


Johnny Manziel is getting set for the NFL Draft with George Whitfield, Jr. in San Diego. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's physical trials have been grueling, as he works out for a few hours each day.

But in preparation for the NFL Scouting Combine and an inevitable interview with the Texans' brass,  Whitfield incorporated a rigorous classroom session as well for Manziel. The former Aggie was "grinding" away for four-plus hours each day.

"A two-hour classroom session in the morning then we work and train and lunch and work and train and come on back in," Whitfield said during a Sunday interview at the Combine. "We’re going to be back in there for two more hours in the evening before he heads home."

But the two-hour stints Manziel did at night, came with a twist.

"The second classroom session is more interactive and he gets to go up and teach our interns what he learned in the morning," Whitfield said. "If you can teach it you should know it pretty well."

The key to all the classroom work: Manziel was learning the ways of Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, with help from a former New England Patriot.

"Kevin O’Connell, former Patriot quarterback, played at San Diego State who spent hours and hours around Tom Brady, and Coach O’Brien has been in there with him day in and day out," Whitfield said.

O'Connell was a 2008 third-round pick, and spent that season with New England. He was cut at the end of the 2009 training camp, and spent time for the next few years with Detroit, the Jets and Miami.

Manziel was learning NFL systems in general, "but in particular the Texans system" so he could "sit in front of Coach O’Brien and take every pitch, every question and every inquiry and be able to go back and forth and dialogue from that level."

Time will tell if Manziel's prep-work helped get him drafted by the Texans.


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