Ever since Number 2 exploded on the scene in College Station, Texas, there have been polarizing opinions as to how Johnny “Football” Manziel could and would perform on Sundays. One of the biggest perceived issues with this young man has been, and will continue to be, his lack of prototypical height for traditional scouts, but then again there is not much typical about this young quarterback. The height issue may continue to come up and be held against him, at least until he starts engineering game winning drives and silencing his critics.
However, if his height was such a problem, why did he only have a whopping 1.4 percent of his passes batted down at the line of scrimmage this past season? Shouldn’t that number be higher?
While the ideal build for the quarterback position at the professional level may never budge from the 6’3” to 6’5” height range everyone seems to prefer, we may be witnessing a new trend on the rise. There is admittedly a small sample size from which to work with, but fans can now look at two different quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, who measure at or under the 6’0” mark. These gentlemen have not only enjoyed success at the NFL level, but have brought Super Bowl trophies to their respective teams. While we can’t compare Manziel to either Wilson or Brees, at least right now, clearly it’s not impossible for Manziel to play at a high level on Sundays.
Another knock on him has been his ego and off-the-field style of life. Will he be able to keep it in check long enough to have a meaningful career?
The answer is yes.
Not once did his lifestyle hurt his team in the form of vacating wins or incurring bowl bans as fans have witnessed recently around the college football landscape. While he does like to party and enjoy his fame, sometimes too much, he hasn’t harmed others around him. Manziel has never been convicted of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, a problem that seems to plague the NFL. He has not been accused of murder like a couple of Super Bowl champions have, and he has not had to serve prison time like several current professionals have had to do.
The point is, while having his life under a microscope ever since winning the Heisman trophy, his most heinous act was allegedly profiting from his signature.
One thing that no one can question is his heart or will. He has shown over the last two years that he is willing to do what is necessary to become a better player. Before and after this past season, he spent many days and weeks working with famed quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr., and he became a better passer this past season for it. It would be a safe bet to say he will improve even more as he hones his craft.
It is very possible that Number 2 will struggle with the jump in competition this year as he enters the National Football League. However, it is much more probable that he will do everything he can possibly do to help lead his new team to victories in exciting fashion while bringing a steady dose of breathtaking moments.