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Orlovsky says NFL quarterbacks are never off the clock


A veteran quarterback best known for running the wrong way is trying to get Johnny Football pointed in the right direction.

The ongoing Johnny Manziel drama arises from the notion that Manziel is capable of working hard and playing harder, that he can do what he needs to do as a quarterback while still doing whatever he wants to do when off the clock. Lions backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who has never done white lines but who ran over over a fairly large one while being chased by Jared Allen (credit/blame Josh Alper for that one), recently told the Ross Tucker Football Podcast (not to be confused with the Ross Tucker Taffy Pull Podcast) that an NFL quarterback is never off the clock.

“You need to understand that playing quarterback in the NFL is going to be like being the President of the United States, where you’re on 24/7/365,” Orlovsky said regarding advice he was given by his position coach at Connecticut, current Towson head coach Rob Ambrose. “You can’t be off. You can’t ever think that you’re ‘the norm.’ It’s like you’re the president. You don’t ever see the President of the United States thinking he can act like a normal 40-year-old guy.”

Orlovsky got similar advice as a rookie from former Lions offensive coordinator Ted Tollner.

“I read some of the things about Manziel and guys saying, ‘Live your life.’ But I just think that’s unrealistic. Because how many 22-year-olds just got given $15 million to run a company? I mean, that’s what he is. He’s the CEO of a company. If he wants to be that, then he just can’t. It’s never worked out. You can’t point and find me one guy who’s been able to do it that way and successfully. . . . To be quarterback in the NFL is like being Barack Obama.”

Orlovsky nevertheless believes it’s worth it, since there are only 32 NFL quarterbacks.

“You just can’t think you just can go do whatever you want and live your life the way you want,” Orlovsky said. “Because it won’t work out.”

We’ll see whether it works out for Manziel. If it does, however, he’ll be the exception.