It’s known in every back room and club in America that Johnny Manziel kills it off the field just as well as (even better than?) he does between the hashes. Whenever he steps on the scene, JFF strikes fear in every veteran. No woman is safe; no game can compete. What’s a guy to do?
Well, recently Yahoo! Sports released scouting reports from six Senior Bowl competitors on how they defended Jonathan Football on the field. A closer examination shows that they give the blueprint for keeping him in check at the bar too.
The next time you find yourself at Opera Nightclub staring down a legend, just remember these tips:
Dee Ford: “We just went at him. We weren’t going to sit back. The year before we did that. I told my coach [in 2013], ‘Hey, we can’t do that. We’ve got to go at him.’ It paid off in the end. I got to him [for sacks] twice at the end of the game.”
Translation: Don’t let him survey the scene. Cut him off from the ladies. If he zones in on a target, get there first. Be the aggressor.
Kenny Ladler: “We tried to contain him so he didn’t scramble and you try to make him throw short routes. He would run around until he just found someone open. We tried to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Translation: Keep Manziel at the bar. Let him work that short game with the bartender. They fight off guys all the time; he’ll have to work hard to get a little face time.
Chris Smith: “A lot of teams try to just contain him, but our coaches wanted us to go get him. That was the message before the game: Go get him. If you sit back and just try to contain him and keep him in the pocket, he’ll kill you with his arm. We tried to go after him, and we did a pretty good job of it, but Johnny’s going to be Johnny.”
Translation: Walk right up to him and say “game on.” Throw your A-game out there. This is what you’ve been training for since high school. He’ll get his, but you can call the shots.
Adrian Hubbard: “We tried to put him in a little cup and kind of cramp his space a little bit. That’s what the coaches wanted. But he’s Johnny Manziel, and he can beat your plan. Even if you do your job, he can get away. He’s one of the best we’ve faced.”
Translation: Shots. Lots and lots of shots. Keep those little cups coming. He’s a HOFer, but every man has his booze threshold.
Craig Loston: “Our plan was to try to keep him in the pocket, make him beat us from the pocket. We did a pretty good job of keeping him bottled up throughout the whole game. We kept him in the pocket for the most part, and he caught us in a couple of errors, but I think our D-line did a great job of collapsing things around him and forcing him into some pressure throws.”
Translation: Keep him drinking beer at the bar. Get your boys to fill up the free space, make it harder for him to work the scene. Set a perimeter.
Chris Davis: “He’s kind of hard to prepare for. He’s a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. He can beat you with his feet and his arm. It’s tough to prepare for a guy like Johnny Manziel because not many guys can play like that, so it’s hard to [simulate].”
Translation: Anything is possible. One minute he’s shotgunning a Lone Star, and the next he’s sparking a cross joint talking about his favorite civil engineer. Prepare to dig deep and spit the craziest fire you’ve ever thought of.
Good luck fellas. If all else fails, just tell the bouncer he was checking you out in the bathroom and was snorting lines off the urinal. It’s bush-league, but a proven winner.