Originally written on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 11/20/14
  After a whirlwind 4 months, Manti Te’o is ready to put it all behind him and hush his critics and prove he’s more than a joke. Per Yahoo Sports, Manti Te’o made his media rounds as he prepares for his rookie NFL season with the San Diego Chargers. Naturally everyone wants to know if Te’o can be a productive player as he was before the Championship game against Alabama, but only he can answer that and according to him, he’s ready to show his critics not to doubt him anymore. “After the couple months I’ve been through, I think I’m pretty prepared,” Te’o said Saturday in his introductory news conference. “As far as going into another stadium, you can’t worry about that stuff. You’re with your family, you’re with your brothers out there. That’s all that matters. That’s all you can really pay attention to. Yeah, it’s a football game, and you play with the guys that you’ve prepared with, and you focus on what’s important, and that’s making sure that when the Chargers walk off, we’re victorious.” “just finding time for myself. I found time for myself with my family. I found a lot of peace and a lot of joy just hanging out with my friends, hanging out with my family. Me going back to Hawaii was the best thing that happened to me, just to be around my family.” The Chargers also drafted Alabama’s DJ Flunker. Te’o says he’s enjoying being a teammate with Flunker. “He’s one of the funniest dudes in the world,” Te’o said of Fluker. “Having D.J. on our team and the energy he brings to the game, if you watch him on the field he’s one of the meanest dudes but off the field he’s one of the coolest guys to get to know. Now we’re here and Keenan’s here. We all knew each other before we came here. We’re very lucky to be here.” But winning isn’t everything to Te’o, he wants people to know that he’s still a kid and he has a lot more living to do and he’s normal just like everyone else. “I’m just a regular 22-year-old kid,” Te’o said. “I just love to hang out with friends, love to play football. Just normal. Just like everybody else.” One thing the Charger organization can be sure of is a spike in their viewership. People are going to want to see if Te’o gets playing time and how well he handles himself on the field. I genuinely hope Te’o shows up and shows out this season, given the opportunity. He’s a good player who happened to be involved in a really bad hoax. He doesn’t deserve to be black listed just yet. He’s only 22. He can do some damage in the NFL and hopefully then people can let his past mistakes go.  
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