Johnny Manziel had a chance to throw against the first team defense yesterday in organized team drills. Needless to say, the top notch secondary reminded him that this is not the SEC as Manziel threw two pick six interceptions and a third.
The football found its way in the hands of veteran safety Donte Whitner who took it back all the way. Later on a sideline route, Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden plucked the ball right out of the air to score for the defense.
All was not bad for Manziel though, he was able to connect with wide receiver Anthony Armstrong on a deep corner route 45 yard touchdown. Again the young quarterback showed promise, rolling out to the right of the pocket to hit tide end Jordon Cameron on the move for a 30 yard gain.
So what can be ascertained from his performance?
First, that he is capable of both interceptions and touchdowns against top level NFL defenses at this point in training. As is the case with most pro quarterbacks on any given Sunday.
Second, that this is a learning process that requires progress. The first time one tries to ride a bike, they tend to fall down. After successive attempts, the rider gets better each time. Progress is the best predictor of future success. Whether he is inching his way along or talking leaps, it is the fact that he is progressing that is important. How fast he progresses will determine when he will be ready to start an actual game.
Third, many throws that he will have to throw in practice will be designed to fail. Coaches intentionally do this to test a quarterback's resolve, gauge their reaction and recovery from failed plays. It is also a way to see what a young quarterback is capable of doing. It's a way to test his limits as a passer.
If Johnny Manziel is the ultra competitor that he is touted as, he will learn something from each and every interception he throws in practice. Putting in the extra time each day making sure it doesn't happen again.
These interceptions are in no way concerning because of the learning process, which is a long one. Manziel will take these mistakes as learning opportunities.