Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Manziel doesn’t fit Arians’ scheme
By Josh Weinfuss
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Among the plethora of questions surrounding former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and the odds his ability translates to an NFL field, there’s one obvious reason why the Arizona Cardinals won’t be summoning him out of the green room.
He’s too small.
Sure, he’s a padded highlight reel, with incredible scrambles and jaw-dropping passes for touchdowns, but that can only take Manziel so far. And it might help him fit in with other teams, just not the Cardinals.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians has a type of quarterback he’s fond of and it doesn’t take much to figure it out. Look at the men he’s had success with: Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. It’s safe to say Arians is even working his magic to resuscitate Cardinals slinger Carson Palmer.
What do they all have in common? They’re big and tall with strong throwing arms.
Manning was 6-foot-5, 230 pounds.
Roethlisberger was 6-5, 240.
Luck was 6-4, 234.
Palmer was 6-5, 230.
Clearly, Arians has a type. Even look at the two Cleveland Browns quarterbacks who Arians worked with -- Kelly Holcomb was 6-2, 212 and Tim Couch was 6-4, 220 -- and neither had the same success as the other signal-callers.
Arians wants a big, tall and preferably athletic presence in the pocket, and all of those quarterbacks listed above – even Manning and Palmer – gave that to him. And they all own big arms, another necessity for Arians' offense.
Manziel stands 6-1 and 210. Athletic? Yes. Tall and big? No, not even close. He’s a fine athlete and solid college quarterback, but he just doesn’t fit what Arians wants to do. Chances are that Manziel won’t be around when the Cardinals pick 20th in May’s draft. But if he is, general manager Steve Keim will contemplate picking Manziel if he’s the best option left on the board.
Don’t expect them to settle on Johnny Football.