Manti Te’o: I don’t see how this detracts from what I did on the field


Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o says he’s planning to put on a show with a great workout at the Scouting Combine. And he says what he’s able to do between the white lines should be all people care about.

Te’o knows that plenty of people are going to ask him about his fake dead girlfriend and the media circus that erupted around that bizarre story, but he told USA Today that he doesn’t see why that would affect his draft stock.

“I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me,” Te’o said. “What I did on the field is what I did on the field. I don’t think what I did with this whole situation, I don’t understand how it takes away from what I did on the field.”

Te’o did acknowledge that he needs to “be more honest” after he continued to tell people that he really had a girlfriend who had died of cancer, even after he found out he had been the victim of a hoax. But he said that the only thing he can do about his draft stock is perform well at the Combine.

“As far as my stock dropping or rising, that’s not up to me. The only thing I have to do is just do well, run fast, just be myself, be quick,” Te’o said.

Te’o says the team that picks him is going to get a great inside linebacker.

“I just want them to know, whoever picks me just let them know that you’re choosing someone who loves the game,” Te’o said. “I want to be the best at it.”

In college, Te’o was the best: His mantel is full of awards for being the best linebacker and best defensive player in the country. So it’s easy to see why all he wants to be judged on is what he did on the field.

60 responses to “Manti Te’o: I don’t see how this detracts from what I did on the field

  1. It doesn’t, that Alabama game though is a different story. 300+ rushing yards right down your throat

  2. More likely looking like a rag doll on national TV is what is going to hurt your stock Manti…….

  3. People (kids) who have never had a job often fail to understand how thing other than pure performance can affect marketability as an employee. Things like personality, honesty, disruptiveness, work ethic, reliability, etc.

    Hopefully his journey over the past few weeks, and whatever really did happen, has helped him mature. I don’t think his draft value has been significantly impaired, so he will get his chance and if he’s capable of playing at an NFL level then he will succeed regardless of the past. I wish him well.

  4. Lets toss out all the dominating performances he gave over the course of his collegiate career because he had one bad game against the best team in the Country. Seems legit. ‘Bama made a bunch of people look foolish last year. I bet Te’o doesn’t last much further than the top half of the draft.

  5. Teams have to realize he was still struggling with the loss of his fake dead girlfriend during the Alabama game coupled with a realization she may have never existed in the first place and that may have been a distraction.

    Ummmmmmm, hmmmm…. Are they any good guards available instead?

  6. Just makes him look like a big dummy. Learn your NFL demographic. I’m 35 and I know all about Skype, front facing camera phones, etc. Your Ahh shucks, I’m just a dumb Hawaiian shtick doesn’t pass the smell test. Somethings off with this kid. Everyone knows it.

  7. This comment by te’o will do more damage to his draft stock than the entire fake dead girlfriend incident; it strongly suggests that he sees no relation between character and being a good team player.

  8. Because the NFL sidelines and bylines are littered with headcases…. see Titus Young, Ryan Leaf, and the Boz to name just a few…

  9. Jedeveon Clowney was the best defensive player in the country not Teo. Teo statistically wasn’t even the best linebacker in the country. The thing that set him apart was leadership and now you can openly question that after this whole fake dead girlfriend thing.

  10. on the plus side, whatever team selects Mantei won’t have to worry about setting aside a seat in the family section for his girlfriend.

    on a lighter note, I’m setting the over under at 17 months until he is engaged to Kim K.

  11. Hey, he’s a first rd draft pick and will be a millionaire. He’s also young which I am not.

    A year from now this girlfriend story will be long gone.

  12. I realize he has a mantle full of trophies, but I didn’t even consider him the best defensive player in his own team, let alone the best defensive player in the country.

    And the fact that he doesn’t see why the fake dead girlfriend thing and how he handled the media circus that followed just goes to show this kids head is missing a few vital parts.

    Good luck to him, but I’d hope my team and GM would be smart enough to pass on him in the draft.

  13. We all want to be remembered for our finest moments, but that’s not how the world works. If nothing else he’s shown a flair for drama some teams won’t like.

  14. This is a flawed character being highlighted by his inability to recognize it. It would really be difficult to spend much time around this guy.

  15. He was exposed in the Alabama game for what he truly is…average. Not saying he can’t improve, but if you add average to now character concerns, and that screams 4th or 5th round to me. If he runs a sub 4.5 (I doubt it) then he might make it back up to the later first or early second round. I just hope the Broncos make the right decision and not draft him there. Our #1 need (IMO) is MLB. We need a hammer there. Al Wilson is the last MLB we have had that was any good. I don’t see Te’o as a big hitter. He was missing tackles 5-10 yards down the field, and getting owned in the box with Bama’s RB’s.

  16. So they don’t teach critical thinking at Notre Dame?

    Because the answer is NFL teams (Except for the Raiders and Bengals) want more than performers on the field.

    They also are looking at the importance of character and intelligence.

  17. Obviously the Alabama game is a concern, but knowing what we know now and with the truth inevitably going to come out, anyone would play like crap with it hanging over their head. Not giving him a pass for a horrible game but the dude is human.

  18. Yeah, you don’t need a fictitious girlfriend to whiff on and get run over by real pro-caliber RBs.

  19. just another overrated product of the dame hype machine who showed what type of player he was in championship game when he played against the kind of talent he will play against every week in the NFL. how did the kid that deserved and won the Heisman do against Alabama? I think he played a pretty good game and his team WON.

  20. This is is bugged out! Wonder if he watch the film of the Bama game? Fair amount of players from that team will be playing on Sunday’s this year. And I rarely hear Te’o name. Get a grip…..You’re a decent LB.

  21. But Leilani’s cousin is his agent with a super exclusive and super secret agency. They haven’t had a chance to meet yet but he told Te’o to meet him in the green room and they’ll walk out to the stage together because he’s the sure fire #1 overall pick.

    That’s still happening, right?

  22. He’s right. Employers rarely care about small things like integrity or honesty. It’s not like an NFL team cares about what the public (fans) thinks. Oh, wait…maybe “just being himself” is a very bad idea. He tried that. Didn’t work.

  23. He played great against 13 other teams and look very average against Alabama… Everyone has a bad game here and there.. Even the greats… Those that are so quick to judge his character act like they have never told a lie in their lives.. Yea the whole gay guy fake girlfriend hoax was weird but give the kid a break..

  24. I think the idea that he is a top level talent in this draft is about as real as……..well, you know.

  25. Yeah he was bad in the NC, but what line backer would look good if your d line was gettin’ blown out of the water by an NFL O Line. What about the 12 other great games he played? He was great. He is a natural leader. People just hate Notre Dame and every player that is talked up by them. He is solid at Linebacker. In the NFL it doesn’t matter where you went to school.

  26. Here’s why it detracts. Football teams want a guy that’s all about football, and you’ve proven to be distracted by a situation so goofy that it makes people think “WTF is wrong with this guy?”

  27. If my team drafts this idiot I’m never going to another game. This guy was crap, I watched him against other teams and he was just mediocre. Alabama showed him what it will look like in the NFL and he shouldn’t have even been on the same field. I don’t even know how this guy was even in the running for heisman?? Go back to your gay loverboy teo.

  28. This is somewhat concerning. If he doesn’t understand this, then he is not getting good preparation, coaching, and advice from his agents and other advisers.

    Te’o if you want what’s in your best interest, then fire your team and seek out a new one. You would already have the answer to this question if they were doing their job, and they clearly are failing to communicate with you properly and prepare you.

  29. It matters in as much as character should count for something. Look at my Lions…drafting talented guys with little to no character, which has not yielded stellar results. I believe teams have been burned so often by drafting low character guys, that most teams will closely into all character issues.

    Lets hope Detroit is one of those teams….

  30. It only takes one foolish GM/coach/owner to make a bad pick. It’ll happen, the question is which fool will get there first.

    God, if in fact you exist, do not let it be the coach/GM/owner of a team I like or at least don’t dislike. And don’t let him go to New England, the Giants, or the Jets, lest we be subjected to endless ESPN stories about his “long struggle” to “overcome” his…whatever you call it.

  31. He of course is absolutely correct as we’ll see on draft day. While press and media outlets attempt to convince us of the importance if this – it’s simply a silly story that’s been overblown by the idiot press.

  32. The fake girlfriend publicity stunt has run it’s course. Just show what you can do at the combine and find out which team will take a flyer on your character.

  33. I wish him well and hope he looks good at the combine, but the truth is he would have been used more on special teams, with backup linebacker duty, at schools like Bama, LSU, Georgia, TA&M, Ohio State, and many others.

  34. “His mantel is full of awards for being the best linebacker and best defensive player in the country.” Except for you know, the Heisman. But hey I really think Manti is going to take the Jets and Rex Ryan to the superbowl.

  35. As a Browns fan, I have complete confidence that Mike Lombardi will draft Te’o.

    Who knows? He could be the next Tommy Vardell.

  36. He’s a kid who lived a life sheltered around football in a small community. Ok, he got taken. Whatever. If it drops him, drop him far enough so my Giants can take him. Reworking lines this yr, it seems.

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