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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Could Manziel play for O'Brien?

By Tania Ganguli


Earlier today, ESPN's Ed Werder, here in Houston to do the television reporting for tonight's festivities, reported some people in the league who know Texans coach Bill O'Brien believe he wants to take Johnny Manziel, but can't justify it with Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack as options.

O'Brien told Werder this about what he looks for in a quarterback: "We have to have a guy who is a leader, who is smart, who is going to get in here at 5:30 in the morning and stay until 10 o' clock at night, whatever it takes for him to improve physically and mentally in our scheme. That's what I'm looking for. We're not looking for a guy who runs a certain 40 time. He doesn't have to be a certain height. It's more about what kind of person he is, and can he throw the ball accurately, what's history in college, has led team to comeback wins, has he performed well in pressure situations. Those are the things that come into play.''

Specifically on Manziel and his unique playing style, O'Brien told Werder: "With a guy like Johnny, you can't box him in to a certain way of playing; he's been successful ever since he was probably 4 or 5 years old playing the way he plays. ...You can't force a guy to be something he isn't.''

One thing that's constantly surprised me is the belief from some that O'Brien would be immovable with an unconventional type of player. One of the hallmarks of the New England Patriots, the franchise with which O'Brien started in the NFL, is adaptability. You didn't see it at quarterback because they didn't have unconventional quarterbacks.

O'Brien said as much to Werder.

It's something players in Houston have noticed. This is a coach who isn't afraid of change and try different things.