- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Staff Writer
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- If watching Johnny Manziel play quarterback excites you, you're in good company.
Texans head coach Bill O'Brien also loves the dynamic former Texas A&M quarterback. The big question about Manziel, though, has been about his durability. Is his style of play sustainable in the NFL?
O'Brien thinks it can be. He looked to an example of when Manziel was forced into a more traditional role to see how he adapted to it.
"Obviously, he is a very exciting player when breaks the pocket and runs, but if you watch the Ole Miss game -- I think something happened to him in the Ole Miss game where he got injured," O'Brien said. "I think he might have hurt his ankle or something. He came back. He threw from the pocket in that game. I think if you watch him, he’s going to be able to do a lot of different things. So, I think it’s sustainable.”
Manziel had a scare with an injury to his knee in the first half on a play on which he didn't take contact, but he returned to the game and completed 31 of 39 passes for 346 yards and an interception. A&M won 41-38 and Manziel rushed 18 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. The occasional spectacular running play was mixed into a lot more of a traditional look from Manziel.
O'Brien will get an up-close look at Manziel on Thursday during his individual pro day where he'll be with general manager Rick Smith and quarterbacks coach George Godsey.
"Again, it’s on air," O'Brien said. "There’s no defense rushing him but you can look at the mechanics and how the ball is delivered and where the ball is placed for a receiver. So if the guy is running a comeback [route], you want it on his outside number. If the guy is running an in-cut, you want it 2 feet in front of the numbers because he’s on a moving route. You can gauge some of that but you can’t make a final decision on throwing on air with no pass rush, scripted workout. But you can see what they’ve done mechanically to try to improve: footwork, throwing motion, all that."