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Manziel wows elder Bush, others at pro day

Outstanding Pro Day For Manziel

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Johnny Manziel's NFL pro day had a former president, lots of swag, a Drake soundtrack and even some football, too.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner threw for 75 officials from 30 teams on the Texas A&M campus on Thursday.

He also had some special guests, as the former president and wife Barbara - and her two dogs - rolled into the facility on golf carts about 10 minutes into the workout.

The always flashy Manziel was true to his over-the-top Johnny Football persona on Thursday, trotting into the facility with his receivers as a tune by his buddy Drake blasted through the building. He wore camouflage shorts, a black Nike jersey with his white No. 2 and caused a stir by wearing shoulder pads and a helmet.

Manziel didn't understand why it was a big deal.

"You play the game on shoulder pads on Sundays," he said. "Why not come out and do it? ... For me it was a no-brainer."

Manziel threw about 65 passes to six receivers, including A&M teammate Mike Evans, who like Manziel is expected to be a first round pick in May's draft. Only two passes weren't caught and Evans grabbed a third long pass out of bounds.

"I felt like it was good," Manziel said. "(I) was obviously going for perfection. So had a couple balls hit the ground. One was on me. One was a little bit high. I could've got it down for him a little bit."

Quarterback guru George Whitfield ran the workout. Manziel has worked with Whitfield throughout his career and has spent a big chunk of the last 2 1/2 months working with him in California. Whitfield raved about his competitiveness.

"This wasn't just merely a set of routes that he was just going to go through and throw," Whitfield said. "It just feels like ... life is riding on every pass with him."

Eight NFL general managers and eight head coaches were among the group, including Texans' general manager Rick Smith and coach Bill O'Brien. Houston has the top overall pick in the draft. Smith and O'Brien liked what they saw from Manziel, but both cautioned that this is just one step in a long process.

"He made the throws that you look for and that you wanted to see so it was good," Smith said. "It's just a part of it and it was impressive."

Manziel, who started at A&M for two seasons, planned to meet with several teams on Thursday afternoon after the workout.

Several coaches were impressed that Manziel called all the NFL officials onto the field at the end of his workout to personally thank them for coming.

"College Station's a little bit of a tricky spot to get to," he said. "For me to call those guys up, just wanted to speak on my behalf as well as the six guys behind me and thank them for coming out."

Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith, who grew up in Big Sandy, Texas, enjoyed seeing Bush at the event.

"That's a first, a workout with an ex-President," Smith said. "But they do things a little differently in Texas, which is a good thing, me being a Texan."

Bush sat in his golf cart during the event and posed for pictures with dozens of people afterward. But Secret Service agents shooed away reporters looking to talk to the 41st President.

Manziel said he didn't notice when Bush came in.

"No," he said. "I was trying to go 65 for 65."

Several more Drake songs played after his introductory one and he looked loose during the workout, at times bobbing his head, covered in the matte black helmet, to the beats. There was a brief hitch in the playlist, though. When he began the workout the explicit and expletive-laden versions of the songs were played. When the 89-year-old Bush entered the building, the soundtrack quickly switched to an edited version of the same songs.

He worked under center, making throws of all distances, on the run and in the pocket. Whitfield added some challenges to the workout, waving a broom and chasing him with it on several throws.

"We wanted to show that we didn't have anything to hide, that we could come out here and go through our seven-step footwork and go through all the footwork that we thought that these guys want to see," Manziel said.

He finished the day with a long completion to Evans and yelled `Boom!' and the assembled crowd broke into applause.

Whitfield was pleased with how the day went and thinks Manziel has improved since the end of the season.

"He learned how big of a jump it is to go from playing on Saturdays to playing on Sundays and it's a grueling process," Whitfield said. "Secondly he's come an awfully long way in his body. He's an awful lot stronger. He's put in his work."

Join the discussion

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twotatertotts March 28 2014 at 10:36 AM

3rd round...maybe 4th

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2 replies
JIMMY twotatertotts March 28 2014 at 11:46 AM

We'll remember you said that.

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darrthom twotatertotts March 28 2014 at 1:26 PM

As Grampa McCoy used to say, "If you can do it, it ain't bragging " . And, my friend, he can do it !

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David S. March 28 2014 at 7:26 AM

I guess we'll see where Manziel ends up.......I doubt it will be any of the NFL teams in Texas though.

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1 reply
Joebudgie David S. March 28 2014 at 9:27 AM

Did I read the article right? He threw 69 passes and only two were caught? Not a good sign for him or the recievers. After the first three or four dropped passes you'd think he or they would make some adjustments.

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1 reply
bennett388 Joebudgie March 28 2014 at 9:57 AM

Were "NOT" caught! Learn to read!

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partsautomall March 28 2014 at 9:32 AM

good for the game.nobody watches average

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salmo60 March 28 2014 at 11:33 AM

So we have John Manziel's "pro day". A barely 6 foot tall QB, soaking wet about 200 pounds, puts on a highly scripted show that demonstrates he can throw a football. Let's see what happens in a "combat" situation on any Sunday this fall. What will Manziel do when a Richard Sherman or a lightning quick Linebacker or a Defensive lineman is bearing down on him with the intent of causing bodily harm. The NFL is a huge leap from college football. How will J Football deal with players that are bigger, stronger, faster and smarter (football wise) than anything he has seen? Will he act like a professional or still act like an 18 year old frat boy? Or will he be another in the long line of Heisman Trophy QB busts?

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bobcornerstone March 28 2014 at 11:46 AM

Bush is a great man and very personable, my wife and i went to see him in Savannah years ago and missed him. We went towards the airport and pulled to the side of the road, there was no one else in this particular spot and as the motorcade came by, to our surprise Bush stuck his head out the window and waved at us. To this day and can still see his smile when he looked us in the eye. It was just us and he didn't have to do it.

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carrieanne2207 March 28 2014 at 9:04 AM

And all you haters out there on JF, you have that right, what you can't deny is the fact he is very talented. I however am very proud to say he played for A & M and wish him and all the guys in the draft the best of luck! I just hope he stays in Texas so we can still see him play in person!

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Scott March 27 2014 at 10:44 PM

Manziel is not a big guy for a professional QB. His improvisational skills don't strike me as a particularly strong asset for the professional game. While I would love to see him smoke the field every Sunday, I tend to think that he won't even come close. A scrambler is almost sure to be injured by some huge linebacker or defensive end.

I hate to make the prediction, but I believe he's going to regret having forfeited his last two years of eligibility at Texas A & M.

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1 reply
shepfbm Scott March 27 2014 at 11:52 PM

Think Fran Tarkenton. and maybe Doug Flutie

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nitro54651 March 28 2014 at 8:19 AM

Good luck Johnny Football I'm betting you will do just fine.

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skyy333 March 28 2014 at 10:34 AM

bush has every right to go see the footballl practice /try outs and, if he likes, to support manziel .
it has nothing to do with his business unless he is a team owner/ partner and if so he certainly should take care of his investment

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1 reply
elendil3136 skyy333 March 28 2014 at 10:55 AM

While all that you say is true, I know politics when I smell it. They're warming the faithful up for Jeb's 2016 run.

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ewid21 March 27 2014 at 10:15 PM

I think this kid is going to make it big and any team with a high draft pick that passes him up will regret it. He is going to be exciting and good!

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