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Warren Moon: Johnny Manziel has to adjust his game in the NFL

Johnny Manziel AP

Warren Moon is a fan of Johnny Manziel’s skill set.

However, Moon does have a few reservations about the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.

In an interview with Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Moon said the 6-foot, 207-pound Manziel must avoid seeking contact as much as he did on the college level. Moreover, Manziel also must prove he can regularly operate from the pocket, according to the Hall of Fame quarterback.

“Well, he’s one of the most exciting players to play college football, no question about it,” Moon said of Manziel. “He’s a risk taker, and he gets away with a lot of those things.

“I just think in the NFL, some of those things, he’s going to have to take out of his game. He just won’t be able to get away with some of those things that he did in college football, especially taking on people, being as physical as he likes to play the game. I don’t think you can do that in the NFL or you won’t be available for your football team.

“So if he changes a lot of those things out of his game, those are the things that made him special. Now all of a sudden he becomes a pocket passer. Can he do that on a consistent basis? That’s something I’m really not comfortable with right now. I’d have to see him do a little bit more of that.

“But no question about it, he’s an exciting football player that brings some very exciting athleticism to the position.”

Moon praised Manziel’s approach to the predraft process, noting that the former Texas A&M star has focused upon his craft.

Nevertheless, Moon still isn’t sure if Manziel’s collegiate production will translate to the NFL.

“He’s doing all the things right to move himself up in the draft, but still, what makes Johnny Manziel ‘Johnny’ is those special, magical plays that he makes, and I just don’t know if there’s going to be as many of those when you’re playing against the talent that he’s playing against in the NFL,” Moon said.

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37 Responses to “Warren Moon: Johnny Manziel has to adjust his game in the NFL”
  1. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Apr 19, 2014 8:39 PM

    I don’t get it. Manziel is the same size as Vick and RGIII. Did anyone tell them they had to adjust their game for the NFL? The worst thing to do to a young QB is to take away what makes them comfortable. Let Manziel play to his strengths and see what happens.

  2. jkampel20 says: Apr 19, 2014 8:42 PM

    ^ love your screenname. Agreed.

  3. footballtalk1 says: Apr 19, 2014 8:47 PM

    ^^^^^ How have undersized Vick and RG3 done so far in the NFL? Yes size does matter…

  4. slbasegame257 says: Apr 19, 2014 8:48 PM

    mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports-

    RGIII and Vick can use their 4.30 speed to outrun most defenders. Johnny Manziel runs a 4.60 forty so he is a totally different player. And for the record plenty of people told Vick and Griffin to change their styles of play because neither can stay healthy in the NFL.

  5. 12hawksfan1976 says: Apr 19, 2014 8:52 PM

    Hmmm. Take QBing advice from a Hall of Fame QB or from these two ^^. I’ll throw my lot with Moon.

  6. allidoiswin55 says: Apr 19, 2014 9:10 PM

    He needs to avoid contact or he will eventually take a shot even if it’s just sliding down field like griffin did . His game is predicated on making plays when the pocket breaks down similar to Wilson . However Wilson has the highest arched baseball style throw in football so he doesn’t get passes batted and he still tries making plays from the pocket first . Manziel will take time to figure it out but hope he doesn’t get injured trying to figure it out .

    Manziel is the ideal qb to backup another for a year or two to work on his progressions and footwork . Problem is hell most likely go to a qb needy team which won’t give him that time . Moon is 100% correct on this even if he’s a 100% goon sometimes .

  7. trezzyt says: Apr 19, 2014 9:22 PM

    Johny is 10 times better then tebow and if he can go In the first johnny can I just don’t know if he should he has a ton of potential but sitting a year or 2 would do wonders for him

  8. dontbugmeonsundays says: Apr 19, 2014 9:25 PM

    Warren Moon is the kind of guy who calls it like he sees it and you gotta respect that about him. He doesn’t have any hidden agendas and he’s not like a lot of old school players who when they retire become bitter old men. His criticism is constructive and he doesn’t bash guys for no reason. I’m surprised he didn’t become a quarterbacks coach because I think he would be a great mentor and a great teacher.

  9. goodtogo28 says: Apr 19, 2014 9:29 PM

    i think some fact checking are in order here before you compare manziel to RG. Griffin is 6’2 3/8 and about 218 in case you were wondering. unless manziel gained over ten pounds and grew two and half inches over night i wouldn’t say they’re the same size.

  10. clintblairjr says: Apr 19, 2014 9:35 PM

    Watched him sit down with Gruden and have to say the kid is a really smart football player. He knows what he needs to improve on and admits his faults. I think he will do fine bc size doesnt matter in the NFL, he has already shown he can adjust to what a defense is doing to prevent his ability. The LSU game was the one that people forget he did not fully prepare for and had not rested his shoulder fully. I hope he falls to the second rnd and Texans get Clowney and him both.

  11. ytownjoe says: Apr 19, 2014 9:44 PM

    The Texans will take him. As you wish, in Round 2.

  12. dohpey28 says: Apr 19, 2014 10:13 PM

    Doesn’t EVERY college player have to adjust his game to the pros?

  13. raideralex says: Apr 19, 2014 10:25 PM

    FROM THE POCKET, Johnny passed for a higher qb rating than Luck did his senior season.

    But who cares about facts and such. We can just watch some running highlights and assume that 1,000 yards of passing vs Bama, Bama, and Auburn didn’t happen.

  14. joe2jerry says: Apr 19, 2014 11:24 PM

    Wasn’t it Moon who scolded the media for saying similar things about Cam Newton before the draft? What gives?

  15. pisano says: Apr 20, 2014 12:37 AM

    I still say he’s too small for the NFL, college ball is one thing, the NFL is a whole different story.

  16. nomoreseasontix says: Apr 20, 2014 1:11 AM

    Not exactly a profound analysis…

  17. louiedogg16 says: Apr 20, 2014 1:37 AM

    Manziel’s size and speed are relatively more comparable to Russell Wilson than Vick and RG3. The difference being Wilson does everything he can to be a passer and uses his legs as a last resort. If Manziel can adopt this type of play style, he can be an effective NFL QB.

  18. qdog112 says: Apr 20, 2014 1:45 AM

    Talk all you want to about Luck in the pocket, but the gold standard is Russell Wilson, who holds the NCAA QB rating record at 192. Luck wasn’t even close to the top, at 167.

    I love it when people assume he was college football’s best, when he was runner-up twice for the Heisman. Luck may yet turn out to be a great pro, but he’s not close on that either, despite what EVERY PUNDIT SAYS.

    As for Johnny, he’s gotta become a QB and not a wildcat specialist. At 4.68 he’ll get run down by defensive linemen, twice his size. Moon is right. All players have to adjust their games, but I think Johnny has to change more than most.

  19. jprcox says: Apr 20, 2014 3:45 AM

    What makes Johnny so different than Tim Tebow??…they played nearly the same style of football, and I think Tebow is actually bigger and played at slightly a higher level in his senior year.

    Trust me, I wasn’t trying to make a “good” comparison there, but trying to figure out why so many people want to place him in the top 10 picks.

  20. jprcox says: Apr 20, 2014 3:48 AM

    FYI, Johnny’s QB rating best is 173 and Tebow’s was 201.

  21. rcali says: Apr 20, 2014 4:34 AM

    Sounds like Mr. Moon has an agenda.

  22. pacodawg says: Apr 20, 2014 5:26 AM

    Very good commentary by warren. Btw I know one of his lineman back in the day, said he was a prima Donna

  23. greymares says: Apr 20, 2014 7:43 AM

    At 5′ 10″ he better change his game to the Drew Brees style and use that great arm. If he thinks his game will transfer he has to realize that instead of running away from 1 or 2 great players a game he will have to run away from 11.

  24. thefox61 says: Apr 20, 2014 8:04 AM

    Warren Moon is, by far, the best analyst in football. We are lucky to have him calling each Seahawks game along with Steve Raible’s play by play on the radio. These two are a way better team than Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. I often times turn off the TV sound and tune in the radio broadcast as I watch the game… “Touchdown Seahawks!”

  25. stupadassle26 says: Apr 20, 2014 8:06 AM

    Dude is over-hyped….. Will be a bust

  26. Noel Thomas says: Apr 20, 2014 8:31 AM

    What does Warren Moon know about playing in today’s NFL?

  27. theytukrjobs says: Apr 20, 2014 9:03 AM

    The problem with all of this stuff is that statistically Manziel is a better pocket passer than the other QB prospects. He also is the most accurate passer in the draft on passes over 15 yards.

    Sure he can’t play exactly like he did in college. This is true for ever prospect. But fortunately he’s a better passer than most prospects in addition to being a superior scrambler. That is why he’s so obviously the best QB in the draft.

    Just my two cents. He may be passed on by some teams that don’t want the circus coming to town though. A lot of teams don’t want that Tebow experience.

    Manziel will be drafted by Jacksonville because they would like the best QB in the draft and wouldn’t mind some excitement around there.

  28. avr29 says: Apr 20, 2014 9:59 AM

    The biggest difference between Russell Wilson and Vick/RG3: Wilson will get down before taking a hit. He’ll get the extra yard if that yard is important. Early in the game, he’s headed for the boundary, or sliding. Trailing/tied in the 4th, and he’ll reach for it. He doesn’t expose himself to unnecessary risks. If Manziel can do that, and read the field, he’s definitely got a chance to be great. Let’s not forget that it’s been noted that Manziel has, at the least, some inconsistent game tape. Alabama isn’t even the Raiders or Jaguars. Yes, he’ll be able to move, but he won’t get away as much as he did in college.

    Everyone forgets that for as athletically gifted as the Cam Newtons and RG3s of the world are, there are just as many, if not more, Robert Quinns, JJ Watts, and Ndamokung Suhs.

  29. Ferdinand says: Apr 20, 2014 10:18 AM

    Has there ever been a college player at any position that didn’t need to adjust their game in the pros? Ever?

  30. najb29najb29 says: Apr 20, 2014 10:19 AM

    Manziel at 6′ 210 lbs does not equate with RG3 at 6’3 and 218 looks like the same type of frame.
    10lbs lighter 3 ” shorter. Looks like RG3 is smaller in build according to height and weight proportions. LOL.

  31. hawksfan99 says: Apr 20, 2014 12:00 PM

    He’s way to small in the NFL, well have you guys ever heard of Russell Wilson? He’s had a pretty good career already and he’s 5’11

  32. whodat123 says: Apr 20, 2014 12:01 PM

    Johnny football will be great for the browns.

  33. shlort says: Apr 20, 2014 12:11 PM

    Manziel will not make it in pro football because he will not be able to play pro-style football.

    Manziel is a sand lot football player and that translates to big time bust in the world of pro football.

    Not only does he have to adjust, he has to learn how to play QB. There are 5 QBs I’d take in the draft before Johnny Football.

  34. mikejune says: Apr 20, 2014 12:25 PM

    “FROM THE POCKET, Johnny passed for a higher qb rating than Luck did his senior season.”

    Biggest BS stat being pushed about Manziel. Over 60% of his “in the pocket” throws: screen passes.

    RG3 v. Manziel: RG3 was a pass-first QB in college.

    Russel Wilson v. Manziel: Russell Wilson broke the passing records at 2 different NCAA D-I schools.

    The telling thing about Manziel in the draft s that NFl players and coaches keep saying 2nd, 3rd round maybe a little bit of a project, while NFL “Experts” and Mock Drafters keep putting him in the top 5.

    He’s going to the Cowboys, whether they trade up or get him at 16. Gut feeling.

  35. realdealsteel says: Apr 20, 2014 12:30 PM

    Manziel has (not a franchise QB) written all over him. I just hope some team takes him early. hehehe

  36. daubs17 says: Apr 20, 2014 1:41 PM

    Warren Moon doesnt have an agenda? Haha, good one. Everytime that dude opens his yap its racially charged and about the plight of blacks in the NFL

  37. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 20, 2014 9:00 PM

    Moon = HATR

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