Slaughter’s Sports Talk

Nathan Slaughter

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Sports. Art by Chris Brockman.

Sports. Art by Chris Brockman.

Johnny Manziel takes an unorthodox approach to presenting his game.

Manziel, also known as Johnny Football, seems to have a unique ability in taking the world by storm.

He shocked the world, by shredding defenses during his Heisman winning campaign in 2012.

Time and time again he left football fans wondering how he continued to dominate the game in the powerful SEC.

On March 27, Manziel took stage in front of the NFL and viewers watching his workout nationwide, on ESPN and the NFL Network.

Manziel known for his unique abilities, took a different approach to showcasing his talents.

He began the day by calling up all the NFL coaches, scouts and General Managers, explaining that he would extend his workout based on their wishes if need be. He had a playlist of music playing in the background, primarily comprised with songs from his good friend, Drake.

The biggest feat Manziel tackled during his workout was proving to the NFL that he could throw and maneuver with his helmet and shoulder pads on.

Normally, NFL prospects work out for NFL teams on pro days in a t-shirt and shorts.

Manziel, who signed a lucrative deal with Nike, sported a black helmet along with a black Nike jersey over his shoulder pads and rib protector with camouflage Nike shorts.

All of which was quickly on sale at the conclusion of Mr. Football’s workout.

The anticipation of how Manziel would perform, most importantly throw, has been a key topic since he declined to throw at the NFL combine and pushed back his original pro day date from March 5th to the 27th.

Personally, I believe Manziel wanted to be the last of the top crop of QBs to throw and leave his statement on why he should be a top pick.

Also, with his fellow teammates focused on their training to make sure they put their best foot forward in front of scouts, I believe Manziel want to have ample amount of time to prepare his throwing script with his teammates to ensure execution.

If that is the case, Manziel made the right decision, because he completed 61 of 64 passes, one of which can be faulted to him as a bad throw.

Johnny Football showed an improvement on footwork and mechanics along with pinpoint accuracy on the majority of his throws.

Many critics became believers after the workout. Without finding fault in his game to criticize, they found other ways to analyze Manziel negatively.

Johnny Manziel’s workout was summed up as a “sideshow” stated by Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Oakland Raiders Head Coach, Dennis Allen, who praised Manziel for his throwing explained the workout as being “Hollywood”, primarily due to the music and attendance by former President George Bush and his wife, along with Governor Rick Perry.

As soon as Manziel stepped foot in Texas A&M indoor facility, it was his show, and he did things his way. He put himself in the best position to showcase his body of work, in preparing for the NFL.

As he showed during his playing days at A&M, convention is not the Manziel way. As he explained time in time again after being criticized for making appearances with stars such as Drake or Lebron James, he’s going to live life the way he wants.

The strong will and ability to persevere through the noise are traits to be admired.

Whether or not Manziel should be the first pick of the NFL draft come May 8, his strong showing during his pro day he did nothing to show he can’t make the throws needed to be successful.

Many will be concerned with the Johnny Football brand and how his motive to promote himself will affect the team he ends up playing for.

Whether or not Manziel lets the “Hollywood” lifestyle consume him will be something to look out for. Although with the change in marketing and abilities to self promote his brand, Manziel shouldn’t be knocked for being a business man and taking advantage of all of his opportunities.

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