While Johnny Manziel has been wowing on the field for the Texas A&M Aggies the past two seasons, critics and “experts” have questioned his NFL potential. Drew Brees is not one of those critics, however, stating that Manziel can “absolutely” be a starter in the NFL.
Some of the knocks on Manziel have been that he’s too small, doesn’t have enough arm strength, and relies on his legs too much.
This season he’s been answering all of the critics and then some. His passing numbers have significantly increased, while he’s shown much more composure in the pocket.
In a recent phone interview with Fox Sports, Brees not only stated that he thinks Manziel has an NFL future, but that he’s got all of the ability to be a great player.
“He is a heckuva player. He’s fun to watch. He makes all kinds of plays.”
“He’s got all the playmaking ability to be a great player. [There are] guys like [Manziel] in this league. Russell Wilson and his ability to run the football and extend plays outside the pocket and throw the ball down the field. Intermediate [routes], I mean he can do it all.”
Brees went on to say that he believes a quarterback’s psychological qualities are more important than his physical qualities.
“There’s way too much weight put into physical stature as opposed to can you find the open guy,” Brees said. “Can you deliver it accurately? Can you make plays? Can you lead your team to victory? Can you lead them? Period.”
“I think the physical qualities are not nearly as important as the psychological qualities of playing the quarterback position,” Brees said. “Certainly you have to have some level of throwing ability and fundamentals and that kind of thing. But speed, height, arm strength those things are way overrated when playing the quarterback position.”
Brees, at 6’0, is short by NFL quarterback standards. However, he is a perfect example of a guy who may not have been blessed with all of the physical characteristics, but boasts more than enough psychological qualities to succeed.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has also proven that a quarterback can succeed despite not having the ideal physical makeup.
Manziel, while short, embodies nearly every trait Brees and Wilson have. As the college season wears on, it’s becoming more and more evident that he can use his mind and arm to beat opponents – which will only make his legs more dangerous in the NFL.