Manziel behavior still the story

Manziel behavior still the story
August 31, 2013, 9:30 pm
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Manziel's maturity issues

Johnny Manziel was highly efficient on the field, but it was his behavior, not his touchdowns, that grabbed the most attention during Saturday's 52-31 win over Rice.

The Aggies quarterback had already sat out the first half for what Texas A&M called "an inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs." As part of the conditions for his reinstatement, Manziel talked to his teammates on Friday about the lessons he had learned. Still, after the first play of his second series, it looked like Manziel taunted Rice defenders by autographing the air. The sophomore also was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after his third touchdown pass of the game. Manziel was benched for the rest of the game. The Aggies head coach said he did not see the air autographing session, but that if he sees it while watching film of the game, it would be something he would address.

Manziel finished the game 6-8 through the air for 94 yards and three touchdown passes, while adding 31 rushing yards in less than one half of play. He was not made available for postgame interviews.

"First play, he missed a read, but (he had) a couple of touchdown drives, a couple of scrambles, and a foolish penalty at the end," Sumlin said. "No matter what the comments are, he's going to face that every week with people chirping. And (his response) is not okay and obviously, I addressed that on the sideline right after the play. That's something he's going to have to deal with every week.

"Individual penalties, of any kind, particularly personal fouls are things that can keep you from winning ballgames," Sumlin added.

It remains to be seen whether Manziel's season-opening punishment of sitting out the first half will really make an impact on him, but Sumlin hopes some lessons were learned.

"I hope he learned that actions just like today, just like some other guys on this team, that those actions may be actions that you think may just hurt you, but they end up hurting the whole football team," he said.

That said, Manziel has definitely helped the Aggies win ballgames with the way he plays, love him or hate him.

"That's how he is: he's a fiery guy," said Cedric Ogbuehi, the Aggies' starting right tackle. "That's what we love about him. He's not a quiet guy. He's not shy. He's going to be loud and restless and that's what makes him Johnny Football and we love it."