Thursday, March 27, 2014
Manziel shrugs off Browns' absence
By Pat McManamon
Thirty teams -- as well as one former president -- attended the circus that was Johnny Manziel's Pro Day at Texas A&M.
The Browns prefer a one-on-one audience with Johnny Manziel rather than sending a representative to his Pro Day.
The two teams that were missing were the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns. The Dolphins have a quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, but the Browns' situation is more uncertain. Despite that, Browns general manager Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine have bypassed Pro Days.
Manziel said he was unfazed by the Browns absence.
"I'm not disappointed," he said. "If they wanted to be here, they had the opportunity to. I didn't think anything of it, I didn't even know that was the case so I'm sure they have their own standard or whatever it may be. I don't hold it against them and it is what it is."
In attendance at the Pro Day was George H.W. Bush, Manziel's personal quarterback guru George Whitfield and a bevy of coaches and scouts. Manziel impressed, though he was throwing only against Whitfield running at him with a broom and not against defenders. He even went to the point of throwing wearing football gear, which is not typical and which caused quite an "inside-football to-do." (Nike soon tweeted photos of the Pro Day Apparel Manziel wore).
But the Browns passed, preferring a private workout with the team's officials at a later date.
"You get a lot more out of a private workout when it's a little less scripted, or it's scripted the way you want it scripted," Pettine told the media at the NFL's annual meetings earlier this week. "Where you can kind of throw some curveballs at a player and see how they react to it.
"It's like the difference between a guy hitting home runs at batting practice versus live pitching. I think it's important you get that concentrated view of a player instead of something that's borderline artificial."