Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel caused a lot of drama off the field in between seasons. Many thought Johnny Football would retreat to his sanctuary (not College Station), the football field, and do what he does best. A&M’s first game of the season was marred by Manziel’s actions. There were the money gestures, the air autographs and the jawing which resulted in a unsportsmanlike penalty and him being benched.
During a press conference on Tuesday A&M’s head coach Kevin Sumlin defended Manziel saying that the quarterback didn’t ignore his coach following his benching. Kevin Sumlin also opened up about what it’s like trying to manage Johnny Manziel as well.
“Anybody who watches Johnny knows he plays with a lot of emotion and a lot of passion,” Sumlin said Tuesday, via the Dallas Morning News. “Because of that, he gets into a gray area. It’s my job, it’s our job as coaches, to keep that passion and energy going but make it positive… What you don’t want to do is kill that passion. I think it’s what separates Johnny from a lot of players.”
Sumlin hasn’t allowed Manziel to talk to the media. He said it wasn’t just his decision.
“His focus is to try to be our quarterback and a student-athlete and that’s his biggest challenge,” Sumlin said. “It’s not his challenge to be here. That’s me. This is college football. It’s not pro football.”