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What's trending in the NFL: Father worried about Johnny Manziel; Super Bowl picks

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Manziel refused rehab twice in past week (2:10)

Dallas Morning News sports writer Kate Hairopoulos spoke with Paul Manziel about being unable to force son Johnny to go to rehab. (2:10)

Here are the top stories from Friday:

Johnny Manziel's father worried quarterback won't "live to see his 24th birthday." Meanwhile, Dallas police are investigating the domestic violence claim against Manziel, and former NFL QB Ryan Leaf says Manziel's situation seems similar to his own.

From Tim Keown's story on Cam Newton's time at a Texas junior college: "In the search for Polarizing Cam -- a concept his Panthers teammates find amusing, incidentally -- I spoke with several people at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, where Cam played after two unsatisfying and admittedly controversial years backing up Tim Tebow at Florida. Blinn was the spot where Cam allegedly went to reflect, to get his life together, to contemplate the big questions and rue the big mistakes."

From Ian O'Connor's story on Peyton Manning's lasting bond with his high school coach: "Manning called [Tony] Reginelli earlier this week as a follow-up; he'd been in contact with all five of his high school, college and pro head coaches in the lead-up to what will likely be the final game of his distinguished football life. At his news conference Thursday, Manning said of Reginelli, 'He was truly one of a kind and a special man.'"

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis fires back at Rodney Harrison for Cam Newton comments (by David Newton)

From Sam Monson's ranking of the past 18 Super Bowl teams, in which the Panthers come in at No. 6: "This Panthers team really has no badly performing group. Even the receivers -- questionable on paper -- have performed well overall despite some drops throughout the season. Kawann Short has been good enough to hide the average performances of the rest of the D-line around him. The only bad news is that injuries are now forcing them deep into the bench in the secondary."

Here are a few more of our Super Bowl stories from Friday:


Best tweet


Best stat

From ESPN Stats & Information research: Cam Newton threw an NFL-best 21 touchdown passes, including playoffs, when facing the blitz.