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Writer: A&M’s Manziel Needs To Improve Before Jumping To The NFL

johnny-manziel-holds-ball-smilesThis offseason has already turned into a season of hype for Texas A&M’s returning Heisman-winner, Johnny Manziel.  The shifty redshirt sophomore quarterback has become a staple of “SportsCenter” and an internet star.  Talkshows, trick shot passing videos, big game tickets… you name it and you’ve probably seen Manziel attached to it.

But one writer in the Lone Star State believes the Flutie-esque star needs to do a bit of improving on the field before he decides to jump early to the NFL next spring (something most expect him to do).  Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News writes:


“… it may be time to tap the brakes on Johnny Football’s rocketing career. Maybe no college football player ever has come so far, so fast.

For a guy who likes to run as much as he does, he needs to get bigger and stronger. He also needs to refine his passing, especially downfield. One of the reasons Ryan Swope’s blistering time in the 40 surprised so many at the combine was because he spent so much time catching shorter passes underneath. Manziel couldn’t find him deep. He improved over the course of the season, but it remains a work in progress, as it would with any college quarterback with only one year as a starter.

Tim Tebow has pretty much proved that you can’t make it in the NFL on legs alone. Manziel’s a better passer than Tebow already, but not as good as Robert Griffin III, who benefited greatly at Baylor from what was essentially his third year as a starter. Johnny Football no doubt could, too.”


Sherrington is correct, of course.  One tremendous college season does not a pro career make.  Plenty of “unstoppable” college QBs from Tebow to Vince Young have had trouble translating their talents from the amateur ranks to the professional.  So it would only make sense for Manziel to continue to hone his skills.  Wisely, he’ll spend part of his offseason working with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr.  And on today’s Dan Patrick radio show Manziel suggested he might not be a lock to leave early.

As for his ability to improve his long ball skills, the benefits can go beyond the field.


Nike baseball – chicks dig the long ball




Bigfoot in Aggieland
Bigfoot in Aggieland

I think that he definitely needs three more years of experience in college ball.


Areas for improvement include:

1.  kicking extra points

2.  field goals

3.  post touchdown celebrations




"He also needs to refine his passing, especially downfield. One of the reasons Ryan Swope’s blistering time in the 40 surprised so many at the combine was because he spent so much time catching shorter passes underneath. Manziel couldn’t find him deep."


Swope averaged 12.7 ypc as a slot receiver, and Manziel hit deep TD passes all season long.  Not sure where Sherrington is coming from on this...


I for one am exhausted of this guy.

I get it he is a good player and is fun to watch.He beat a great Bama and had some other nice wins.

Against UF and LSU he threw 0 TD and 3 INTS so before we make him the best player EVER lets see if he can get a title. At least Tebow won a title and was heavily involved in a title his first year.


Against Florida and LSU Manziel had difficulty finding the open receiver - against Florida the receivers had a difficult time getting open.  Against LSU, he made poor decisions.  By the season's end he had improved markedly in both regards.


As far as jumping to the NFL,  just as important as Manziel's on-field performance will be how NFL defenses respond to the dual threat quarterback this coming season.  If Wilson, Griffin (who is a much better passer) and Kaepernick are contained, then I would bet Manziel's stock falls quite a bit.  He's not an NFL-quality passer.


Regardless, I doubt anyone has seen a better college quarterback.  Title or not.


 @quad77 LSU definitely did what they needed to contain him, but Florida was his first game.  Even so, here were his stats in those games


FU: 23/30, 173 yds passing, 0 int, 60 yds rushing, 1 rushing TD

LSU: 29/56, 276 yds passing, 3 int, 27 yds rushing


Other than the 3 interceptions, there's not much to complain about there...


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