HARTFORD (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Tom Brady has some advice for Heisman winner Johnny Manziel: stop being a “turd.”
The New England Patriots quarterback made the comment while appearing with team owner Robert Kraft on CNBC Thursday.
“He’s probably been the best athlete in his high school class, in his elementary school class. So when you look across the ball you have respect for those guys, and you treat them with respect because football’s a physical game,” Brady said. “And as [Kraft] would say, ‘If you’re a turd, it’s going to come back to you.’”
Brady feels the Texas A&M quarterback needs to be more respectful to his teammates and opponents.
“I have a lot of respect … for my teammates, for my organization, and certainly for other guys in the NFL,” Brady told CNBC. “There’s not a guy playing in the NFL who hasn’t earned the right to be here, and who isn’t supremely talented.”
Controversy shrouded Manziel heading into the 2013 season after reports surfaced he accepted money for signing autographs, an NCAA violation. The 20-year-old was also photographed drinking and partying.
Manziel sat out the first half of last Saturday’s win over Rice because of what the school called an “inadvertent” violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs. Not long after he entered the game in the third quarter he jawed with a Rice defender and appeared to mimic signing an autograph while getting up from a tackle.
His penalty came when he pointed at the scoreboard after throwing his third touchdown pass.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin said he spoke with several players — not just Manziel — earlier this week about how penalties can hurt the entire team and the importance of eliminating them. He said it’s a balancing act to keep Manziel from getting in those situations without stifling the exuberance that is part of what has made him so successful.
“Anybody who watches Johnny knows that he plays with a lot of emotion and a lot of passion,” Sumlin said. “Because of that he gets into the gray area. It’s my job, it’s our job as coaches to keep that passion and energy going, but make it positive.”
Sumlin does understand that Manziel’s antics have made things more difficult for the sophomore quarterback. But he also finds it a bit amusing that Manziel’s gesture of rubbing his fingers together became such a big deal when several other Aggies as well as players on other teams have been doing the same thing since last season.
“Has he kind of painted himself in a box with that, with some other issues? Probably,” Sumlin said. “But no one wants to be more successful than he is. No one is going to play this game harder than he does and his teammates understand that.”
Running back Ben Malena agreed and said that the outside perception of Manziel is completely different than his image within the team. He also doesn’t mind answering questions about Manziel while the quarterback avoids the press.
“It’s just what comes with it,” he said. “You want to have a defending Heisman Trophy winner as your quarterback. So it’s not bad.”
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