Minnesota Vikings Wisely Talk Maturity With Johnny Manziel

By Andrew Fisher
Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings can tell you all about how important quarterbacks are in the NFL. If you don’t have a quality signal-caller under center, your team isn’t going to make in noise come January. It’s really that simple.

Minnesota has felt this pain the last few years, and really, the team is still trying to replace Brett Favre.

Fans are hoping that 2014 will finally be the year when that happens, as the Vikings hold the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft. Many believe they’ll take a QB at that spot, but there also aren’t any guarantees. The team has come out and said that it will draft a QB at some point this May, but it’s entirely possibly they’ll do it outside the first round.

If the Vikings are looking to take a QB early on this year, Johnny Manziel is one guy they have to seriously consider.

The evaluation of Manziel is of course well underway at this point, but things really picked up steamed after his strong Pro Day showing. Many teams in attendance, including the Vikings, saw firsthand that Johnny Football can indeed make all the throws. So the question has now become — how committed to football is he?

Head coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman tried to figure that out over dinner with the QB:

“We asked him all kinds of questions. We went to dinner with him the night after (his pro day). We talked to him at the combine. There are some flags that come up. All of the things that happened out in Los Angeles, the commercials and all that stuff. The position of quarterback in the NFL is such an important position and the reason these guys need to be a totally football-minded guy is the pressure of the position and being the face of an NFL team and doing everything right,” said Zimmer.

“That’s the thing you want to know about him: Will he be into work early every single day? Will be the last to leave? Will he be the guy that is working the hardest to get better?”

The answers to these tough questions will of course remain between the Vikings and Manziel, but there’s no doubt that Zimmer and company are asking the correct questions.

It remains to be seen if Minnesota will buy the star QB as being mature enough to be its franchise player. As of late he’s said all the right things about being committed football, but are the Vikings buying it? That’s what everybody in Minneapolis wants to know.


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