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Holmgren thinks Manziel would be too much like, well, Favre

Earlier this month, former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren shared with Peter King the thought processes that prompted Holmgren to once stick with a struggling Brett Favre.

But Holmgren, who likewise argued that teams in need of quarterbacks should select them high in the 2014 draft, seems to have real concerns about the incoming rookie quarterback whose playing style most closely resembles Favre’s.

A cover quote for the cover story on Johnny Manziel has Holmgren saying that Manziel is “too playground, too freelancey.”

It’s possible that the full context includes some positive remarks from Holmgren.  If so, it’s arguably unfair to Holmgren (and to King, who wrote the story) to highlight the obviously negative portion of the assessment.

(And here’s a prime example of what it truly means to take something out of context.  If, for example, Holmgren said, “At times I think he’s too playground, too freelancey, but like Favre, Manziel delivers,” Holmgren’s quotes will have been grossly taken out of context.  If the four words appearing on the cover are fully consistent with Holmgren’s message, then it’s a fair quote.)

For now, with only the four words to go on, it’s curious to say the least that Holmgren would knock a guy who possibly could, with the right coaching, thrive like No. 4.

“I went down, thought about it, called [Favre] in the next morning, told him he was the guy,” Holmgren previously said about the time that he decided to stick with Favre over benching him for Mark Brunell.  “I told [Favre], ‘We’re either going to the top of the mountain together or we’re going to the dumpster together. But we’re in this together.’ That’s what you have to do. I’m convinced of it. Absolutely convinced.”

Fine.  They why give up on Manziel before someone has a chance to make that same commitment to him?  It doesn’t make any sense, especially in light of a personal experience that gave Holmgren the only Super Bowl ring he won as a head coach or high-level executive.

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61 Responses to “Holmgren thinks Manziel would be too much like, well, Favre”
  1. Matt dog from C-town says: Apr 30, 2014 1:27 PM

    This guy is too much!!!

  2. savocabol1 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:28 PM

    He drafted Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden.

  3. ninerboi says: Apr 30, 2014 1:28 PM

    Agonizing. Curses to whoever decided to push the draft back two weeks.

  4. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:28 PM

    Does Manziel wear Crocs?

  5. bennyb82 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:30 PM

    So Manziel will make whoever coaches him look much better than he really is? That is what I took from this.

  6. thehatefulnerd says: Apr 30, 2014 1:31 PM

    We all know Holmgren was robbed of that other SB in Seattle.

  7. FlashPatterson says: Apr 30, 2014 1:31 PM

    I don’t see the problem. Favre was awesome when he was with the Vikings.. He sucked his whole career before that but still.

  8. scw37 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:32 PM

    My head hurts…is it the draft yet?

  9. joetoronto says: Apr 30, 2014 1:34 PM

    “No more rocket balls please.”

    Holmgren to Favre after Favre broke Freeman’s fingers with a laser shot. 🙂

  10. thereep says: Apr 30, 2014 1:35 PM

    I see his point. All those wins and playoff berths would be difficult to handle.

  11. corvusfootballus says: Apr 30, 2014 1:37 PM

    He may have Favre’s instincts, but not Favre’s arm and indestructibility.

  12. thepftpoet says: Apr 30, 2014 1:40 PM

    Johny Manziel would be the perfect Viking.

    Great at football.

    The Vikings are winning the division next year with a 12-4 record.

  13. eagleswin says: Apr 30, 2014 1:44 PM

    Favre’s main legacy is his longevity. If not for Reggie White Favre would’ve retired without a ring.

    People also forget that the Packers covered up his alcoholism, infidelity, and drug addiction for years.

    Good luck with getting away with any of that today.

    I’m still not sure why Favre got upset with the Packers at the end. They went above and beyond to support him during his career there.

  14. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:47 PM

    With Manziel, I could see the Vikings improving all the way to 6-10.

  15. peopletrains says: Apr 30, 2014 1:49 PM

    Favre and Wolf made Holmgren.

  16. mikejune says: Apr 30, 2014 1:49 PM

    I’m still waiting for somebody that has been involved in the NFL to heap praise on Manziel.

  17. joeblowsintoronto says: Apr 30, 2014 1:49 PM

    Manziel will be twice the QB Favre was. Us Canadians know our football.

  18. swortybounce says: Apr 30, 2014 1:51 PM

    “Holmgren thinks” would be a more captivating headline.

  19. stellarperformance says: Apr 30, 2014 1:51 PM

    Favre is built like a linebacker. His physician once said the tendons in his arms were like wire cables. Manziel may purposely abandon his teammates someday for his own personal gain, but that is as close to Favre as he will ever be.

    I hope the Vikings take this guy. That would set them back at least another four years or more, ala Ponder.

  20. wabbitslayer says: Apr 30, 2014 1:52 PM

    I’d much rather hear Jenn Sterger’s comparison of the two than Holmgren.

  21. kneelbeforesod says: Apr 30, 2014 1:53 PM

    Just spot him an INT (or 3) a game – the rest will work itself out.

  22. ronarch13 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:55 PM

    Based on his QB failures in Cleveland, if he doesn’t like him…. Johnny will be good if not great. Holmgren needs to just fade away with all his cash from Lerner

  23. tabdanger says: Apr 30, 2014 1:56 PM

    For the people who keep saying Johnny Manziel’s playing style reminds them of Fran Tarkenton, Brett Farve and Tony Romo.. Exactly how many Super Bowls have those QB’s won combined (1)

  24. andrewluck12 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:56 PM

    I fail to see why that’s a problem.

  25. granadafan says: Apr 30, 2014 1:57 PM

    So, Manziel is going to break Favre’s interception record? Favre was a gunslinger and wild, but he had a unique ability to be accurate and make decisions when he had to. The keyword is unique. Being wild will not get you far in this league unless you’re a once in a lifetime type of player.

  26. bart15np says: Apr 30, 2014 1:57 PM

    Either these hats are getting small or my heads getting big. Shut up

  27. jdbaker01 says: Apr 30, 2014 1:58 PM

    Johnny Manziel is a drunk too?

  28. fargovikesfan says: Apr 30, 2014 2:01 PM

    who the hell has compared Manziel to Tony Romo?

  29. chris6523 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:06 PM

    How can those 4 words be construed as giving up on Manziel, even if they were the only 4 words Holmgren said about him? It’s probably a fair criticism and it should be taken as a good bit of advice from Holmgren to Manziel that this is something he needs to work on.

    I was the d-coordinator for a 7th grade football team. The best player on my defense was a total wild man that could be counted on for a handful of huge plays, at least two penalties, and a couple big plays for the opponent because he missed an assignment. After one particularly frustrating game, his mom asked me how he did. I’ve known her for a number of years and was comfortable speaking frankly to her. My response was “your son needs to be play with more discipline.” If you wanted to take that purely on its own merits, you would have figured I might not want the kid on the field, but the exact opposite it true.

  30. bearshaterseverywhere says: Apr 30, 2014 2:08 PM

    Lovie Smith thinks Rex Grossman is Quarterback…

  31. taintedsaints2009 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:09 PM

    one of my favorite nfl films soundbites is mike holmgren talking to brett favre:

    “…no more rocket balls….please?!

  32. ragnarthemagnificent says: Apr 30, 2014 2:11 PM

    He’s going to look great in purple.

  33. dumbpollack says: Apr 30, 2014 2:12 PM

    Walrus, do everyone a favor and shut the hell up. As a Browns fan in sick of the crap that keeps coming out of his pie hole.

  34. edavidberg says: Apr 30, 2014 2:14 PM

    Holmgren has as bad a personnel record as anyone. Quoting him on the draft is like quoting Matt Millen, it should never be done.

  35. txpackfan77 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:20 PM

    Manziel couldn’t carry Favre’s jock strap. Doesn’t have a shred of the guts or the talent, but has all of the arrogance, and a lot more.

  36. jerruhjones says: Apr 30, 2014 2:24 PM

    Go away Holmgren….

  37. wisconsinhillfolk says: Apr 30, 2014 2:26 PM

    I am a big fan of Mike Holmgren.

    I’m sick of hearing from Mike Holmgren.

  38. PFT's Acclaimed Philosopher says: Apr 30, 2014 2:35 PM

    Hmm, I see…

  39. purplehaze28 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:54 PM

    Can he throw the ball into the upper deck, just win someone a $100 bet?

  40. jaygruntboston says: Apr 30, 2014 2:55 PM

    Manziel is a slightly better version of Colt McCoy, NOT Brett Favre!

  41. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 30, 2014 2:56 PM

    There is no such thing as being “too much like Favre”.

  42. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 30, 2014 2:58 PM

    Turnover machine?

  43. steeltroll says: Apr 30, 2014 3:17 PM

    Yeah, guys like Favre and Roethlisberger never work out for the teams that draft them.

  44. duece5 says: Apr 30, 2014 3:25 PM

    Get it done Vikes……get Johnny Football!!!!

  45. brianstevens0915 says: Apr 30, 2014 3:29 PM

    Dear NFL,
    Please move the draft back to April. Your ploy to milk it and make more money is making me somewhat interested in something I love…the draft.
    Poor Fan of a Rich Sport

  46. bensstinkyfingers says: Apr 30, 2014 3:38 PM

    U can’t go wrong with a guy nicknamed “Johnny football” I think he will be a pro bowler within 2 years. As for the walrus I think u can’t take his evaluation too seriously considering he drafted colt McCoy and Brandon wee den to be franchise qb’s. So hopefully the browns grab Manuel at 4.

  47. awdlmd says: Apr 30, 2014 3:52 PM

    Manziel is most likely to end up like Vick and Cutler. Make the occasional playoff run, hurt all the time, inconsistent play, never fully develops fundamentals, always just short of putting it all together.

  48. willjasper says: Apr 30, 2014 4:23 PM

    Johnny Manziel will either be the second coming of Brett Favre or Ryan Leaf. I don’t think there’s a lot of in-between with him.

  49. defscottyb says: Apr 30, 2014 4:31 PM

    Agree with him. Yeah, Favre was a very good qb but he also is the all time Interceptions leader.

  50. brownsclown says: Apr 30, 2014 4:50 PM

    Sounds like a gross misquote to me–Holmgren’s total vocabulary is somewhat less than three words!

  51. cguy7 says: Apr 30, 2014 5:03 PM

    He’s a baller and Holmgren needs to fade away. Who’s opinion on the draft is next – Mike Ditka? Holmgren should be arrested for Grand Theft for the millions he took from Lerner, and the years he took from Browns fans… Clown. Without Favre and Reggie he’s a nobody.

  52. muencht says: Apr 30, 2014 5:15 PM

    I don’t see Johnny Football as being that much like Favre. Manziel is much more of a scrambler. Manziel does *not* have Favre’s rocket arm. Favre in the early glory days was able — with good protection — to drop back and throw the ball. If it wasn’t an INT chances were good it would be a big play. As someone mentioned they do share one trait — arrogance! Don’t know if JF will be successful or another Tebow. All flash.

  53. justintuckrule says: Apr 30, 2014 6:22 PM

    This isn’t the days of Tarkenton. QB-ing now is 50% physical and the rest being a classroom/film dork. Even if he has the physicality part (jury still out on that one), I don’t see him spending the time in the film room that the Mannings and Russell Wilson put in. He’ll be chasing cheerleaders…which is exactly what I would do if I were an NFL QB.

  54. bullcharger says: Apr 30, 2014 7:04 PM

    I think any team would take Favre again right now. He’s one of the greatest ever. He was still slingin it in the same NFL we see today and almost took the Vikes to the Super Bowl not too long ago. If Manziel is like Favre he’ll be fun to watch for the next 10+ years.

  55. gbp4ever says: Apr 30, 2014 7:43 PM

    Being a Packer fan I saw Favre make a ton of bone headed plays. He got burned on his fair share but because he had one of the strongest arms he could often make those bonehead plays work. Manziel does not have half the arm Favre has but would still try to make all the bonehead throws and get burned a lot lot more.

  56. hawkforlife says: Apr 30, 2014 10:43 PM

    I watched Holmgren scream at Matt H for years. Never once did I see him offer encouragement or help him cope with what he was facing on the field. To this day I fail to understand why the talking heads name him as a great coach or GM. OK, nobody thinks he was a great GM.

  57. councilofargos says: May 1, 2014 7:17 AM

    The question I have about Manziel is he coachable? Brady and Manning are always trying to improve, probably throw Brees in there too.
    I dont want a QB content with his current skill set, I want one that wants to try and get better. he might be the most talented athlete in the draft, he also has the biggest attitude in the draft.

  58. drweedybaked says: May 1, 2014 10:19 AM

    FFS Vikings don’t take a QB in the first round! My heart can’t take much more disappointment.

  59. williamshatnerstoupee says: May 1, 2014 10:53 AM

    He’ll be slightly better than Tebow.

  60. wizbanginhumdinger says: May 1, 2014 9:07 PM

    He said only the playground part was similar to Favre,…He clarified on KJR sports Seattle today that Manziel and Favre are two different players. Favre was bigger and not a particularly good runner. They are both a little wild,…Favre changed his approach though in later years and became more disciplined. He had to. I’ll tell you one thing,..Favre is a hell of a lot tougher than Manziel and his arm,..way better.

    He’s right though about the playground aspect of Manziel’s play. It doesn’t translate in the NFL, may have a little success here and there but in the long term, just doesn’t work. I don’t see the kid having the discipline to achieve great status as an NFL QB…His rookie season will tell the story and when he realizes that he’s not the big man on campus, perhaps he’ll make the neccessary changes to his game. I don’t think so.

    Johnny Football my ass.

    Go Hawks!!!

  61. sean222 says: May 4, 2014 10:23 AM

    I know I am late to this party but, without Favre, no one would even listen to what this bum would have to say. Favre made Holmgren relevant. Time to fade away and go sit with the grandkids.

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