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What O’Brien hopes to see on “Johnny Day”

Posted Mar 26, 2014

Bill O'Brien discussed what he's looking for during Johnny Manziel's Thursday Pro Day at Texas A&M.

With six weeks left until the 2014 NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel will have a chance to separate himself from the other quarterback prospects during his Pro Day in College Station. Just one week after Blake Bortles successfully showcased his skillset at his March 19 Pro Day, head coach Bill O’Brien hopes to see similar improvements from Manziel on Thursday.

“Has he improved footwork-wise, throwing motion, knowledge of coverages, all those things,” O’Brien said Tuesday. “You kind of try to look for similar things even though each player is different so that when you go back at any position and you judge what you’re going to do and you decide what you’re going to do, you at least have a progression of these eight to 10 categories.”

While O’Brien expects players to excel in a scripted workout with familiar receivers, there are some limitations to how much can be really be evaluated.

“There’s no defense rushing him but you can look at the mechanics and how the ball is delivered and where the ball is placed for a receiver,” O’Brien said. “So if the guy is running a comeback, you want it on his outside number. If the guy is running an in-cut, you want it two feet in front of the numbers because he’s on a moving route. You can gauge some of that but you can’t make a final decision on throwing on air with no pass rush, scripted workout. But you can see what they’ve done mechanically to try to improve: footwork, throwing motion, all that.”

Referred to as “Johnny Day” by O’Brien, Manziel is expected to throw to five former teammates: wide receivers Mike Evans, Travis Labhart and Derel Walker, tight end Nehemiah Hicks, and running back Ben Malena. Evans will also work out for NFL representatives after not participating in A&M's Pro Day on March 5.

The Heisman Trophy-winning Manziel has been training this offseason in San Diego with his private quarterback coach, George Whitfield, who organized Thursday’s Pro Day.


O’Brien, general manager Rick Smith, and quarterbacks coach George Godsey will attend Manziel’s Pro Day scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Texas A&M’s indoor practice facility.

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