More than any other rookie, Manti Te’o arrived in the NFL with a reputation. And because his public reputation is shaped largely by the bizarre hoax in which he claimed to have fallen in love with a cancer patient who never actually existed, there’s been a great deal of talk about whether Te’o can fit in around his new teammates.
But Te’o says that in the two months since he was drafted by the Chargers, things have gone well. Te’o said in an interview with Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network that everyone on the team has welcomed him, and that the only thing that seems to matter is whether he can help them win games.
“Luckily for me I’m surrounded by guys in San Diego who really care about football and really care about winning, and really care about people,” Te’o said. “And for me as a rookie, I just keep my head down and keep working and keep my head in the playbook, so I don’t give them a reason to yell at me or give them a reason to not like me. So for me, I’m just keeping my head down, doing my responsibilities and make sure that I’m working to be the best linebacker I can be.”
Te’o seems to realize that the best way to make people forget about the embarrassing end of his Notre Dame career is to get off to a good start in his NFL career.