Confidence most important for Manti Te’o in transition to NFL

San Diego Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o is adjusting to life in the NFL during his first training camp after being selected in the second round of April’s NFL Draft.

Te’o is expected to start for the Chargers this season alongside Donald Butler and is working to acclimate to the speed of the NFL game. In an interview with Mike Costa and Judson Richards of XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego, Te’o said having confidence in himself and his abilities has been the biggest benefit to feeling comfortable on the field.

“Having confidence in my ability to play the game,” Te’o said. “I think a lot of time a lot of players get caught up in the whole ‘oh my gosh I’m in the NFL’ kind of zone. They forget that if you weren’t good enough you wouldn’t be here and have confidence in your ability to play this game.

“It’s still the same game. When I started playing I was 8 years old, it’s still the same game. Obviously guys are a lot bigger and a lot faster now but it’s still the same reads, techniques, you’ve just go to master those little things.”

Te’o has also begun to understand some of the finer aspects of playing linebacker at the professional level. Te’o will ultimately have to prove he belongs on Sundays but he appears to be off to a strong start.

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About Neil Farris

I have been covering sports since 2002 when I began writing for my college newspaper. Since then I have covered football regionally and currently work in the NFL department at All Sports Talk.