By Wayne B. Jones for TonySoftli.com
The National Football League and its fans are no longer willing to tolerate bad behavior from its players. Alleged murder, drug use, and domestic violence accusations will get a player suspended or fired. Today the NFL is big business; with league revenues growing to $10 billion. If a player wants to gain or secure employment he not only has to be a good player on the field, but a good citizen off it.
Johnny Manziel was given a golden opportunity to become a NFL starting quarterback. He was drafted in the first round by a franchise starved for quarterback stability. It was obvious to me that he was the owners pick, not the general managers. His college tape showed me he was no better than a 4th round talent, not the 22nd overall pick. He had deficiencies in his throwing mechanics and I believed his “Johnny Football” improv skills would be negated by NFL defenses. His off the field trouble: run ins with the law, domestic accusations and partying antics; along with his on field performance led to his dissmal from the Cleveland Browns.
If he wants to continue his professional football career he should first seek therapy for his off the field behavior. After his therapy is completed he should head north to the Canadian Football League. Joe Theismann, Warren Moon and Jeff Garcia started their professional careers north of the border. Each individual was able to correct perceived NFL deficiencies by playing for a period of time in Canada. Manziel needs to do the same; he must first learn how to win from the pocket before seeking another NFL job.
QB #2 Johnny Manziel Free Agent (5’11”, 210, 4.68).
Has playmaking ability, improv skills. Efficient with zone-read concepts. Good quickness and movement skills. Good short area burst, agility and change of direction. Has quick release. Short to intermediate range passer. Poised in the pocket keeping his eyes down field. Lengthens plays with his feet. Plays with confidence. Clutch ability to perform in critical situations.
Poor foot work, does not transfer weight on passes. Arm thrower, not a passer. Does not step into his throws. Cannot drive the ball down field. Poor velocity, average arm strength. Not a long ball passer, puts too much air under ball on deep routes. Throws balls up for grabs when he needs to sling it. Inconsistent ball placement and accuracy. Must improve ability to read defenses. He is quick to leave the pocket before completing his progressions. Needs to add muscle to his body frame.
Manziel is a unique football talent. But that talent has not been enough to succeed in the Nation Football League. He needs to develop better pocket passing skills, especially foot mechanics. His overall judgment reading defenses and coverages including pre-snap, sight adjustments and locating secondary receivers needs to improve. He should start a weight training program to add muscle to his body frame. I question whether he can complete a 16 game season.
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