Manziel still playing like Heisman winner despite criticism
SEP 07, 2013 9:43p ET
Saturday, he returned to the field and threw for 426 yards on 28-of-41 passing in Texas A&M's 65-28 win over Sam Houston State. He also rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Sure, a week of getting slammed by NFL legends, coaching greats and Super Bowl MVP's might be enough to distract a player and throw them off their game.
But not Johnny Football, who took the field and quickly threw for over 300-yards...in the first half.
"It was easy to block all the stuff out, get off everything, not read anything and just grow with my teammates and continue to get a better bond with them and just spend time with them," Manziel said after the game.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady referenced a common phrase from Patriots owner Robert Kraft this week when asked about Manziel's actions. "If you’re a turd, it’s going to come back to you.”
That was only the latest in a long string of criticisms during the week.
Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer took a swing at Johnny Manziel this week, calling him "arrogant" and saying he'd like to jerk Manziel's facemask and grab him for his actions in the Aggies' win over Rice last Saturday.
Manziel earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and coach Kevin Sumlin pulled him from the game for his actions. Earlier in the game, he made a signing gesture at a Rice player, an assumed nod toward his NCAA issues that culminated in a first-half suspension.
ESPN commentator Lou Holtz said he would "grab him by the throat" and his colleague, Matt Millen, said he would put his "size 13 boot" up Manziel's backside.
Manziel has brushed all criticism aside. The Aggies are 2-0, his stats are through the roof ... and he has a chance to lock down his place in history next Saturday night against the Crimson Tide.
Tajh Boyd thrust himself into the Heisman discussion with a big win over Georgia in Week 1, and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has nine touchdown passes in two games, but on Saturday, the week before his first big test, Manziel reminded the country that the reigning Heisman winner is still playing college football.
There's still plenty of football to be played this season in College Station, but for now, score one for Manziel's supporters like Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who said this week, "I [didn't] know how I really felt about Johnny Manziel, but I feel like now that everybody hates him, he's quickly becoming my favorite player in college football."
Alabama will get a chance to make it "come back" to Manziel next week. The Aggies host the No. 1 Crimson Tide in College Station on Saturday.
But Manziel responded like any other quarterback when asked about next week's showdown.
"It feels like another game," he said. "It feels like Week 3 of the season."
The Associated Press contributed to this report