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Updated: April 1st, 2014 10:30am
Classic misdirection from Zimmer on 'celebrity man guy' Manziel?

Classic misdirection from Zimmer on 'celebrity man guy' Manziel?

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by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com

By now you likely have heard the Mike Zimmer's comments about the 'red flags' with former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. We'd like to know what you think about the radio interview that has people buzzing.

According to Coaching Search (brought to our attention by the Star Tribune's Master Tesfatsion), Zimmer told 104.9 The Horn in Austin:

"It didn't really say anything at all, really. Him talking to the group was fine. I do think he was sincere. The helmet and shoulders pads... I guess the thing you have to figure out is, is this just another part of the things that happened a couple of years ago after he won the Heisman Trophy or is he just a different person as far as wanting the limelight or just wanting to prove that he can do things the right way?"

"I guess it maybe brings a few questions marks in. Is he going to conform to typically what the NFL is or what everyone else has done before him including what the great players in the game have done before him, or is he going to try to be the celebrity man guy that he was maybe a year-and-a-half ago?"

Does being a 'celebrity man guy' preclude one from also being a good football player?

As Mark Craig at the Star Tribune warns, beware of misdirection this time of year. Zimmer be giving his truthful opinion or he might be providing a smoke screen. We can't know. It's worth noting that Zimmer wasn't obligated to do a talk radio interview, and he had to know the topic of Manziel would come up when he agreed to go on the air in Texas.

Zimmer continued:

"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. 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?" 

"There is a change, otherwise all of these other quarterbacks that have come up through the years would have made it, from the college game to the NFL game as far as the speed of the defense and some of the complexities of the different defenses. So that position has got to be a position that really eats, breaths, and sleeps football where he is going to take it upon his shoulders to win. At least the Peyton Manning's, Drew Brees' of the world have done that and really that all we have to go on in the NFL is past history."

What do you think, Vikings fans? Is this an honest assessment or a classic misdirection?

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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