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Tony Jerod-Eddie Transcript: Prepare for Johnny Football

The 49ers defensive end talks playing with Johnny Manziel, the 49ers defense and more

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fun Fact: Tony Jerod-Eddie played with Johnny Manziel. Sure, Johnny Football was a redshirt freshman at the time, but TJE had to deal with him in some of the most painful situations.

That experience has definitely been useful in the classroom this week as the San Francisco 49ers are looking for anything on the Browns starting quarterback. Manziel has shown some good things on the football field in his second year in the league, but still has plenty of question marks. It takes weeks before NFL defenses can really figure out a quarterback. It's the great QBs that learn to adjust with the defenses. While we've seen some decent things out of Manziel, it will be interesting how well he does going into the end of the season. Teams are getting plenty of tape on him now, and we will finally see what kind of a quarterback he really is.

His performance against the San Francisco 49ers is really an indicator. We all know the bar the 49ers are set at. I think there's more to see out of Manziel against the 49ers than against the Seattle Seahawks among others. On the flipside, the 49ers defense has been playing better on the road as of late, so it will be interesting to see what they have in store for the young quarterback.

Here is the transcript from TJE's interview on Wednesday, regarding the defense, Manziel and the 49ers:

You stay in your rush lanes and all that kind of stuff?

Yeah, everybody's got to maintain their rush lanes. We can't get on top of him, we can't give him seams, because he'll take it. He'll take off an d run and he's really good at making plays happen down the field with his feet either way when that happens

What kind of fits would he give you guys in practice?

Oh he, I mean it was crazy, we would always get mad at him  for like,  "Johnny throw the ball."  (laughs) "don't run it". So it will be fun chasing him around again, because when I was there he was the scout team quarterback. He was killing us and he had Mike Evans out there throwing the ball to so they were giving us fits.

He's not a big guy, does he sort of surprise you? You probably see him but don't think much of him but does he surprise you when he's out there? What he can do, and what can you get around?

Well I play with him so it doesn't surprise me at all. Like I said, his red shirt freshman year he was the scout team quarterback. So, I saw it every day, three times a week, so nothing he does surprises me at all.

That first time you did go out there, you were an upperclassman and he was a red shirt

Oh definitely, you look at him he's not even six foot, just looks like a guy, but he's definitely a great quarterback.

You get the sense with his off the field issues and stuff, he needs to slow down, and take a breath and realize what's at stake for him in the NFL?

You know, I'm not anyone to judge another man's personal life. Johnny's a friend to me, I consider him a brother, so that's not my place to speak on his personal life.

Talk to him a lot though,  still?

On the offseason, from time to time.

How good is Navarro Bowman at diagnosing what's going to happen offensively pre-snap? Looks like he had Jay Cutler's number a couple times in terms of what they were going to call

Well, you got good linebackers and you got great linebackers and great linebackers are the ones that are going to see what happens before it happens so, Navarro is one of those guys.

How would you explain this defense playing better? Particularly on the road, compared to earlier in the year?

We really just took focus to it. It was pretty embarrassing we were one team on the road and we were almost a completely different team. And Mangini brought some of those things out. We talked about it as a group and we said to each other we were going to  do something about it. and that was big last week in the road win and playing well on defense.

Is part of that being more comfortable within the system?

Anytime you have a new system and a new scheme you're going to have growing pains. Look at, back any other place, there's going to be some kind of growing pains. Some smaller than others, some bigger than others,  but you're  going to have some kind of growing pains. It's past week 10 in the season and things are kind of meshing and it's a lot less thinking and more reacting

It seems like you're starting to create a niche for yourself knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage. Is that something you take extra pride in?

That's another thing at beginning of the season., Eric Mangini, he said we weren't getting our hands up, knocking enough balls down, we weren't getting the ball out enough. So we put an extra emphasis on it and that's something that I , with my size and my long arms, that I feel like I can do. So I'm conscious of it and I try to do it as much as I can do, if I can't get to the quarterback I get my hands up.