Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who stated the obvious today when he announced that he is entering the 2014 NFL draft, plans to spend the next few months training with a quarterback guru who has tutored the last two passers taken with the first overall pick in the draft.
Bruce Feldman of CBS reports that Manziel plans to move to San Diego for the next few months to train with private quarterbacks coach George Whitfield, who will help Manziel prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine and private workouts with NFL teams.
Whitfield has a good track record: He worked with Andrew Luck before the 2012 draft and with Cam Newton before the 2011 draft. Luck was already so polished as a pocket passer in college that Whitfield’s influence probably didn’t do much to change perceptions of him among NFL teams, but Whitfield was credited with helping Newton show he could make all the throws that NFL teams want to see their quarterbacks make. Manziel, like Newton, is a mobile quarterback who hasn’t played in a pro-style offense (although the definition of “pro-style offense” is rapidly changing), and Whitfield may be able to help Manziel demonstrate that he can be a pocket passer if that’s what the team that drafts him wants him to be.
Manziel told Feldman, “I’m ready to become a professional and dedicate myself to making my dream a reality of becoming the best quarterback I can be.” Part of that dedication will be a few months of work with Whitfield.