<
>

Manziel to Texans: Passing on me a no-no

With today's publications of simultaneous stories by the Houston Chronicle and the Fort Worth Star Telegram, former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the next player to declare that he wants to be the top pick in this year's NFL draft.

We'll put aside for a moment that there is nothing spectacular about a player answering "yes" when asked if he wants to go first overall. They all do. Of course they do.

But Manziel's declaration came with a warning.

Manziel's words:

"I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to [owner] Bob McNair to say, 'This kid is 100 percent, can't miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.'"

And if the Texans don't pick him? He apparently assumes the Jaguars would take him.

"It would be the worst decision they've ever made," he says, smiling. "I'd be in the same division playing against them twice a year. Sorry, but you just turned that chip on my shoulder from a Frito into a Dorito."

The timing of these stories were an excellent move by Manziel's camp.

He was made available to two Texas reporters and came off as confident, but composed. He explained and took responsibility for many of the incidents that are often mentioned as proof of his lack of maturity and proof that he might be a problem for the franchise that drafts him. And he did it in a setting less pressurized than the one he'll meet at the NFL scouting combine next week.

Manziel's real task will be convincing Texans coach Bill O'Brien, general manager Rick Smith and team owner Bob McNair that he is the right fit for them.