In defense of Johnny Manziel

I wrote an article a while back about Derek Carr when many people were trashing Derek Carr. I would like to do the same with Mr. Manziel. Now, unlike Derek Manziel does not really need more supporters. However, I found some interesting articles that point out there are some myths about Manziel that simply are not true.

Manziels biggest problem is Johnny Football. That might sound strange to say, but he has such a super human ability to make some of the strangest plays you will ever see that I think it sometimes tends to cloud peoples judgment of him as a QB. I hear several common arguments here, from "he won’t get away with that as a pro" to "he’s a playground QB" to "he will get destroyed because defensive lineman and LB in the NFL will catch him" to "He will be injured all the time" to "he can’t throw from the pocket". There is a myriad of comments here. Manziel is sometimes hurt by the plays we remember, which are so bizzare that we tend to think "he will not be able to do that again."

The following article does a great job with video footage of dispelling many of the Manziel Myths. Listen, he is not a perfect prospect, no one is, not even Andrew Luck (although he was close).

What I like about the article is that it clearly points out what the author feels are Manziels flaws. I agree with many of them and so do many Aggie fans I talked to about him. He will force balls in the red zone. In fact most of Manziel interceptions that I see come from misreading defenders across the middle of the field in the red zone. I think he will improve at this, especially with a coordinator like Norv Turner.

In this regard I think he is most like Brett Favre and Tony Romo. He will take chances that will baffle you and he will make you look like the greatest coach there ever was all in the same play. The one thing I love about Manziel is his passion for play. With Manziel you may go down, but he will kick and scream and fight and punch every second of every play he is out on the field. He can make plays. This ultimately is the most important characteristic of Manziel.

This leads to the biggest worry about him as a QB and the comparison to Michael Vick. The concern is that he is too small and takes too many hits. There is no actual proof to back up this worry. He never missed a game to injury in college or high school I believe. There is such a thing as worry, but there is also such a thing as paranoia. This argument largely comes from an unfounded idea that scramblers are more likely to get injured. As a point in fact Fran Tarkenton, with no roughing the passer penalty took only one major injury in his career, and that was while he was in the pocket. The key difference between Manziel can be seen in the above article. When he leaves the pocket he will look to throw the ball. Now does he need to work on sliding, absolutely? In fact in interviews I have seen Manziel himself say this.

I put the last article in because of the comments from Mike Stoops who called him the best player he has ever seen.

Now one of the things that Norv Turner, who worked with San Diego when they drafted Brees, will do is get up on a chalkboard and draw up five or six plays and then ask the QB to get up and redraw the plays he drew. He considers this skill to anticipate and remember plays to be vital. We know Derek Carr will excel at this skill. We know Teddy Bridgewater will probably as well. Given the fact that Manziel impressed during his interviews we can assume he possesses more of this skill than we believe.

Many people forget Turner was involved in the selection of Brees for San Diego. He was a very important part of why he was drafted where he was.

The other major problem with Manziel is I think many people are tired of him. He is clearly overexposed sometimes through his own fault, but really not. He was a little recruited high school player who came out of nowhere and won the Heisman trophy. He took an Aggie’s program expected to make the jump to the SEC and get clobbered. He took an Aggies program that is known more as the kid brother to Texas than as anything else and brought them to National prominence as the most watched team in the nation. There was a lot of weight put on his shoulders and he bore it all to perfection.

Manziel in many ways is like a hootie and the blowfish song. You liked it when you first heard it, but after hearing it a 100 times a day you just want to blow the whole song up.

You draft players not on what they can do now, you draft on where they will be in five years. This is why Blake Bortles might go first in the draft. Manziel has the highest upside of any QB in this draft; he also has the lowest downside. If you are a coach and you believe in your ability to coach you take that chance 100 times out of 100. You have to if he fails you did something wrong.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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