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Manti Te’o trying not to give veterans any reason to dislike him

Rookie draft pick Te'o stretches as he takes part in the first day of the San Diego Chargers NFL rookie camp at the team's facilities in San Diego Reuters

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.

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50 Responses to “Manti Te’o trying not to give veterans any reason to dislike him”
  1. ravensterps says: Jun 24, 2013 7:27 PM

    Leave the man alone.

  2. mackcarrington says: Jun 24, 2013 7:32 PM

    As long as you keep carrying those shoulder pads and bags, doing their errands, and getting the doughnuts and coffee, you’ll be Ok, rookie.

  3. orangandblack says: Jun 24, 2013 7:36 PM

    People don’t forget Manti

  4. ryann252013 says: Jun 24, 2013 7:36 PM

    Glad this kids doing well, hope he enjoys SD.

  5. humb0lt says: Jun 24, 2013 7:37 PM

    What ravensterps said. Thank you.

  6. jackdaniels1 says: Jun 24, 2013 7:40 PM

    Can’t miss T’eo on the field, he’s the one in the pink jersey

  7. bigbuc419 says: Jun 24, 2013 7:52 PM

    Watch catfish and you’ll see he isn’t the only one

  8. jkulha86 says: Jun 24, 2013 8:10 PM

    Watching ESPN in the last year gave people a reason to dislike him.

  9. theytukrjobs says: Jun 24, 2013 8:10 PM

    At the end of the day, all that is really going to matter is if he can play.

  10. jayniner says: Jun 24, 2013 8:17 PM

    You got some big shoes to fill kid.

    #SEAU!

  11. PriorKnowledge says: Jun 24, 2013 8:23 PM

    OK. Since he made such a mature comment, I’ll lay off him now.

  12. redwoodking says: Jun 24, 2013 8:23 PM

    Play hard and stay away from off the field distractions and you’ll be liked but more importantly respected.

  13. lessfrazier says: Jun 24, 2013 8:31 PM

    Kneepads and a hole in the wall.

  14. thesmartest1 says: Jun 24, 2013 8:31 PM

    I would imagine most rookies are doing something similar.

  15. mrgroovesd says: Jun 24, 2013 8:37 PM

    So much has happened in the NFL this offseason with the Pats that his story is starting to fade but people still want to bring it back up. Can we let it go now?

  16. rexryanjr says: Jun 24, 2013 8:37 PM

    I just hope that Teo doesn’t mistake his teammates backing him and welcoming him for another type of affection

  17. raidermick3sb3rings says: Jun 24, 2013 8:48 PM

    mrgroovesd says:
    So much has happened in the NFL this offseason with the Pats that his story is starting to fade but people still want to bring it back up. Can we let it go now?

    **********************************

    NOPE! And if you think that is bad, just wait until he comes to Oaktown on Oct 6th baby…LOL!!

    Late…

  18. dbones750 says: Jun 24, 2013 8:55 PM

    Lets go manti! All the hate has gotten him a decent sized cheering section.

  19. bleedburgandyandgold says: Jun 24, 2013 8:56 PM

    All of that stuff that happened might have been the best thing for him cause now he’s gonna be even more focused and stuff that matters and trying extra hard to stay out of the spotlight

  20. therealbleedcoltsblue says: Jun 24, 2013 9:02 PM

    I don’t give them a reason to yell at me or give them a reason to not like me.

    ____________________________________

    I wonder if the heterosexual NFL players worry about ‘being liked’ as well.

  21. saintjohnwhodat says: Jun 24, 2013 9:04 PM

    I’m over the Internet thing new season new team I’m finding myself cheering for him now

  22. Duckhomie says: Jun 24, 2013 9:06 PM

    Too late.

  23. afcdomination says: Jun 24, 2013 9:08 PM

    ah leave the man alone

    but really, I think he will have a nice career. however we saw how he handles pressure. I wouldn’t fear him at all in big games til he proves otherwise

  24. howiehandles says: Jun 24, 2013 9:09 PM

    I hate ND as much as anyone, but let it go already. There would be less talk about it if he allegedly raped a woman, or shot a gun in public.

  25. jbeagles23 says: Jun 24, 2013 9:10 PM

    Think this kid will be one of the steals in the draft. Dropped because of something non football related and now has something to prove with a ton of talent

  26. ctiggs says: Jun 24, 2013 9:11 PM

    That’s my baby.

    – Lennay

  27. beelicker says: Jun 24, 2013 9:13 PM

    I bet he gets along with the real ones just as well as the imaginary ones …

  28. helloanybodyhome says: Jun 24, 2013 9:14 PM

    Should just have the team over for a boatload of imaginary steaks.

  29. redeemerac says: Jun 24, 2013 9:16 PM

    With Aaron Hernandez looking at potential murder charges, I think its ok if people cut Teo a break.
    He’s seems like a good kid.

  30. craniator says: Jun 24, 2013 9:20 PM

    He’s given us single guys the greatest line to tell our buddies every weekend that we don’t have a date: “what do mean I don’t have a date? I do have a date — with Lennay Kekua !”

  31. kinggator says: Jun 24, 2013 9:26 PM

    Why does he care, he’s got tons of imaginary friends already.

  32. @Cereal_22 says: Jun 24, 2013 9:42 PM

    God knows Te’o’s cares about what others think about him

  33. 619sdfan4life says: Jun 24, 2013 9:48 PM

    @jackdaniels pink jersey comment is absolutely lame bro. Makes no sense….

    @jayniner- seriously man Teo has big shows to fill because he is Samoan and Seau was Samoan. #LAME

  34. jayquintana says: Jun 24, 2013 9:56 PM

    I”m glad Te’o is at least as welcome in an NFL locker room as are guys who commit felonies.

  35. abninf says: Jun 24, 2013 10:12 PM

    As long as he isn’t asking other players to go on dates he should be okay.

  36. greyhawk9 says: Jun 24, 2013 10:13 PM

    good luck with that..who doesn’t love a compulsive liar

  37. makeitnashty says: Jun 24, 2013 10:29 PM

    Manti is going to be a DROY candidate. Playing next to breakout MLB Donald Butler. They will be second to Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman… but not for long.

  38. ddogdaddy says: Jun 24, 2013 11:02 PM

    @raidermick3sb3rings
    Oct 6th and there is a possible, ever so small, but still possible chance you could be still playing for something other then pride. Maybe try and get a win rather then worrying about another teams 2nd round MLB. Loser. LOL

  39. robgilman says: Jun 24, 2013 11:37 PM

    Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to wrap my head around this guy’s whole story but I get the feeling that he has taken enough punishment and learned his lesson. Pretty hard to ever live that one down. As a rival fan, I can’t help but root against his success on the field, but I think it’s fair to say that he deserves a chance to prove himself and move on from all that drama. Luckily people in San Diego don’t pay too much attention to football so he doesn’t have to worry about a big spotlight on him.

  40. skobolt says: Jun 25, 2013 12:06 AM

    I hope his legacy is the same as LT… never a loss to the raiders!!!

  41. hedleykow says: Jun 25, 2013 1:47 AM

    What I find bizarre is players who can’t even make it out of college without acquiring a baby mamma or two along the way. Birth control really isn’t all that complicated. The league and the world in general need a lot more Te’o’s and a lot fewer dumb a$$es.

  42. channer81 says: Jun 25, 2013 3:53 AM

    I think you can thank Aaron Hernandez and the Pats for taking whatever spotlight that was left on you Manti.

  43. joetoronto says: Jun 25, 2013 5:03 AM

    That fairy is gonna get run over, game after game.

    Can’t wait. :)

  44. roastbeefsandwich says: Jun 25, 2013 6:54 AM

    Well, no girl friend to distract him from his film study.

  45. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Jun 25, 2013 8:16 AM

    “Luckily for me I’m surrounded by guys in San Diego who really care” — sounds like he’s found the right place for him.

  46. listenup823 says: Jun 25, 2013 10:19 AM

    At least the FBI isn’t dragging the lake behind this kids house…

  47. 11thstreetmafia says: Jun 25, 2013 10:38 AM

    While blindly attempting to make jokes about this guy, I think you guys forget that he didn’t set this gf thing up. He was catfished. Also, the one game against Alabama doesn’t define his career. He has a lengthy résumé.

  48. Savage Lizard says: Jun 25, 2013 11:03 AM

    I love how the 8,237,544th person to make a joke about this still thinks their schtick is fresh and clever.

  49. jayniner says: Jun 25, 2013 12:59 PM

    619sdfan4life says:
    Jun 24, 2013 9:48 PM

    @jayniner- seriously man Teo has big shows to fill because he is Samoan and Seau was Samoan. #LAME

    ____________

    Dude, Seau was arguably one of the greatest Linebackers to ever play the game….Period. It had nothing to do with heritage or race. He was a class act, unless you never had a chance to meet him or visit his restaurant.

    What position does Te’o play? And for what team? And in what city? Exactly.

    It’s gonna be a long time before ANYONE truly comes close to filling Seau’s shoes.

  50. Savage Lizard says: Jun 25, 2013 1:18 PM

    Anyone playing the “Te’o filling Seau’s shoes” angle is just looking for an easy angle. It’s not like Seau just retired or left the team, he’s been gone from the Chargers lineup for years now. If Te’o was anything other than Samoan, this wouldn’t even be mentioned.

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