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Big Ben worries that Johnny Manziel’s not big enough

Johnny Manziel, Kelby Brown, Jamal Bruce AP

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sees a little of himself in Blake Bortles.

But it’s what he’s seen of former linebacker Joey Porter that makes him a little nervous about Johnny Manziel.

Roethlisberger said during his radio show on 93.7 FM that he thinks Manziel can be successful, until the pounding takes a toll on his sub-6-foot frame.

“I was in the weight room the other day with Joey Porter, [and he was] asking me what I thought about Manziel,” Roethlisberger said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I looked at Joey and said, ‘Joey, do you think if you got a good hit on him, that he would be OK? And he said, ‘No, not at all.’ And that’s my question.

“You have guys like Joey Porter, who’s a big guy, guys that are fast like Troy [Polamalu], Ike Taylor coming off the edge, Lawrence Timmons. You’d better be real athletic, get down or be big” to absorb the pounding an NFL quarterback can take.

I think he definitely has a lot of upside, but let’s wait and see. The key I’ll say every year when I get asked about RGIII, Andrew Luck, or whoever it is, Cam Newton. It’s not about your first year, it’s about years two, three and four.

“Can you sustain it when defenses, like Coach [Dick] LeBeau and the defenses he coaches, when they figure you out, can you find a way to stay a step above them?”

Other smaller quarterbacks have been able to stay on the field. But Roethlisberger’s concerns aren’t isolated, and weighing the difference between playmaking and the potential for missed time is a big part of the Manziel decision for many.

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49 Responses to “Big Ben worries that Johnny Manziel’s not big enough”
  1. doubleogator says: May 7, 2014 8:41 AM

    Drew Brees hasn’t missed a game due to injury in 8 years, can Big Ben say the same?

  2. bullcharger says: May 7, 2014 8:42 AM

    It’s about scrambling behind the line of scrimmage instead of running downfield. He will get killed if he runs like he did in college. However, if he scrambles it will keep him upright. Ben keeps playes alive because he is hardto bring down, but Manziel can’t do that.

  3. qdog112 says: May 7, 2014 8:45 AM

    Face it, as much as we like to romanticize, Johnny is as much a creation of our imagination, as he is a media’s dream. Look at how much “copy” they have sold since he came on the scene. No draft story is complete without his name being dropped.

    He’s been linked to every franchise, in some way, as pundits invent ways for him to be drafted by every team. Finally, reality is setting in and Manziel is not nearly as attractive to decision-makers in the NFL, as draft day comes.

    Front office people have tried to be nice, but only the GM who is ordered by the owner or the one with a deathwish, will hitch his wagon to Johnny. Manziel is a fabrication, a figment of our imagination. He plays QB the way we would, if we could.

    Johnny Manziel is the “hip hop QB”. He is Vanilla Ice. Not saying he’ll be on a milk carton in 3 years, but it’s hard for me to see him as anything but a sideshow. The players and coaches are beginning to speak.

  4. slashpg88 says: May 7, 2014 8:45 AM

    Preach Big Ben, Preach! I’ve been saying this about Manziel for years, hes not big enough for the NFL. Too many people are comparing him to Russel Wilson but really need to compare him to the likes of Colt McCoy, another small-sized college standout that just couldn’t make the transition. There is just too much hype around him now.

  5. eaglesw00t says: May 7, 2014 8:47 AM

    I would put Manziel in the class that I think Vick is in.

    He is smaller and takes enough hits because he moves around. And then you have problems with seeing through lanes and seeing over other players.

    When your linemen are 6’3-6’7″, and youre 5’11″, thats going to make throwing a ball difficult

    I actually want to see Manziel succeed, but Im not sure he will.

  6. godofwine330 says: May 7, 2014 8:47 AM

    As long as my Browns don’t draft him I’m good. For me it isn’t his size, but the fact that unstructured doesn’t recognize structure. His inability ot read defenses and his unwillingness to tuck the ball away is going to make him a problem at the next level. Like many kids (wow, funny saying that and I’m 37), he is likely going to resist what you tell him about those things.

    I’ve seen him far too often try for the highlight throw, too. I’m not advocating for Captain Checkdown, but in the NFL the highlight throw is a bait & hook that I don’t want my team on the hook for.

  7. sensiblevoice says: May 7, 2014 8:55 AM

    Anyone else thinks that Ben is trying to establish himself as an analyst, so he’ll have a job after football?

  8. scoops1 says: May 7, 2014 8:58 AM

    Hey Ben…Doug Flutie is on line 2 for you

  9. sterling7 says: May 7, 2014 9:05 AM

    I have ben a huge NFL/College football fan and student of the game since 1968, Manziel will not be drafted in the top 10 to say the least. Every team is using Manziel as a smoke screen. The earliest Johnny Manziel will be drafted will be in the middle to later rounds of the first pick. Personally I think he will go in the twenties of the first round.

  10. ewoods6 says: May 7, 2014 9:14 AM

    Hahaha…”Not, not at all”

    Love it!

  11. claymus1 says: May 7, 2014 9:16 AM

    Yeah, those sub 6 foot dudes can’t win in the NFL…ridiculous…

  12. sparty0n says: May 7, 2014 9:17 AM

    BIG BEN played center for the Pistons!

  13. bornahawker says: May 7, 2014 9:21 AM

    I did not know Big Ben was even capable of thinking of anybody but himself.

  14. imnotsorryisaidthat says: May 7, 2014 9:25 AM

    Ben should know about not being able to stay on the field

  15. GrillChiller says: May 7, 2014 9:39 AM

    Johnny Manziel is no Drew Brees, so that argument has no steam. Brees just seems more solid compared to Manziel.

  16. theytukrjobs says: May 7, 2014 9:41 AM

    I don’t buy into the “manziel can’t stay healthy” bit. Yes if Manziel runs up the middle and lowers his shoulder he’ll get creamed.

    But behind the line, his quickness and athleticism will reduce the hits he takes.

    I think where he could get hurt is when he’s stretching out for a key 1st down or diving at the goal line. A lot of athletic QB’s know when to get down, but then on those goal line plays they just can’t help themselves.

  17. blowtorch1964 says: May 7, 2014 9:41 AM

    Any NFL personnel man who is saying publicly that Manziel won’t thrive in the NFL is obfuscating, or wrong.

    He has the accuracy and elite arm strength to make it. He could be another Tarkenton, who was slightly built and 6′ tall. He was predicted to be out of football within a year and played for over 20. Mike Vick is another decent comparison.

    He is only 3 years out of HS, so would need development. He finds a way to win, and makes plays. I don’t doubt that he can do it in the NFL.

  18. briscocountyjr says: May 7, 2014 9:48 AM

    What was big ben doing in the weight room? Did they relocate the cafeteria?

  19. eaglesw00t says: May 7, 2014 9:53 AM

    Any NFL personnel man who is saying publicly that Manziel won’t thrive in the NFL is obfuscating, or wrong.

    He has the accuracy and elite arm strength to make it. He could be another Tarkenton, who was slightly built and 6′ tall. He was predicted to be out of football within a year and played for over 20. Mike Vick is another decent comparison.

    He is only 3 years out of HS, so would need development. He finds a way to win, and makes plays. I don’t doubt that he can do it in the NFL.

    ————————-

    When youre so short that youre throwing the ball into your linemens back, its a moot point.

    Tell me again, how big were the linmen when Tarkenton played? Exactly.

    And as for Vick…how many years has he been in the league? And how many season has he played the entire season? Thats what I thought.

  20. Steeley McBeam says: May 7, 2014 10:03 AM

    Whens the last time Dree Brees shed a tackle or tucked and ran? His playing style is not comperable to Manziel or Ben so the fact he hasnt missed a game is irrelevant.

    Ben hit the nail on the head. The ABSOLUTE celing for Manziel is RG3, and we all saw how that turned out.

  21. Matt dog from C-town says: May 7, 2014 10:05 AM

    Ahhh Ben…Get over team.. Johnny’s gonna torch your old bunch of has-beens and then have Drake rap about it…..

  22. idoubtiwillbother says: May 7, 2014 10:13 AM

    It isn’t his height, it’s his thickness. Is his body dense enough, like Doug Flutie, or brittle, like Roscoe Parrish?

  23. briscocountyjr says: May 7, 2014 10:15 AM

    Big Ben in the weight room? ..was the cafeteria relocated there?

  24. marthisdil says: May 7, 2014 10:20 AM

    I think Johnny has “real athletic” covered.

  25. dryzzt23 says: May 7, 2014 10:22 AM

    Ben might as well be talking about Mike Vick….but Vick is black and “athletic” so he gets a pass. Sub-6 foot black QBs are ok b/c they can run but sub-6 foot white QBs are not b/c they “can’t” run?

  26. kev86 says: May 7, 2014 10:28 AM

    Kudos to Eli for 150+ starts in a row.

  27. ragnarthemagnificent says: May 7, 2014 10:32 AM

    Johnny worries that Big Ben might try to grope his girlfriend

  28. pixelprola says: May 7, 2014 10:34 AM

    Welcome to New England Johnny Football!

  29. mp42245 says: May 7, 2014 10:36 AM

    Manziel in the backfield scrambling is one of a kind. On the read option, I don’t think so. When he decides to run, it’s usually because there is open field. Now, the question is, will he slide or take the hit like RG3 did. He’ll tear up the league if he plays smart. Drew Bree’s hasn’t missed a start in 8 years because he is smart, not tough.

  30. boisestatewhodat says: May 7, 2014 10:38 AM

    McBeam…Drew Brees takes the same beating every QB takes. When the team’s bread and butter is the QB (Pats, Saints, Broncos, etc.), smart GMs like Loomis build a solid offensive line.

    Drew Brees is always criticized for not being tough…really though? The dude came back from what most (including Dr. Andrews at first) said would be a career ending injury…since then, he’s established himself as a sure fire hall-of-famer with a super bowl title and 8 seasons without missing a game. Take the goggles off and look around man…jeez!

  31. boisestatewhodat says: May 7, 2014 10:45 AM

    Big Ben holds the ball too long…always has. This is one reason why the dude gets beat to a pulp every Sunday. The GM has done a lousy job of protecting him on the line as well. Brees is light speed quick getting the ball out and the offensive line has won the Madden award several times in the past 8 years. Brees>>>Big Ben.

  32. qdog112 says: May 7, 2014 10:47 AM

    dryzzt23 says:
    May 7, 2014 10:22 AM
    Ben might as well be talking about Mike Vick….but Vick is black and “athletic” so he gets a pass. Sub-6 foot black QBs are ok b/c they can run but sub-6 foot white QBs are not b/c they “can’t” run?
    *******************
    Pal your racecard has been played and REJECTED. It’s not only his size and lack of speed that is the issue. It’s his style. One of the most MOBILE QBs around is Aaron Rodgers, who happens to be white. He’s slightly over 6’1″, but he mixes his running ability with prolific passing and QB IQ.

    Nobody is gonna say Johnny can throw like Rodgers, so until he does, his running around is not his primary skill and that doesn’t work for any QB – BLACK or WHITE.

  33. pencilmonkeymagic says: May 7, 2014 10:51 AM

    Lot of comments here already refusing to acknowledge a certain other short QB’s success.

    52 passing TDs in his first 2 years, standing 5’10″ behind a line averaging 6′ 3″

    No missed playing time, with a similar scrambling ability.

    The doubts of the armchair GMs were being cast in the same manner then.

    So how about seeing how Manziel plays on an NFL team first?

  34. domezo says: May 7, 2014 11:05 AM

    Why can’t we compare Drew Brees to Johnny Manziel? Just because Manziel doesn’t have the stats Brees has? Because Brees already established himself as a future HOFer? May we not forget Manziel hasn’t played a down in the NFL. Ya’ll haven’t even gave the kid a chance to prove himself and ya’ll all so quick to say he will bust? Now if ya’ll were expert analyst ya’ll wouldnt be sitting at home writing these comments now would you? Back to Brees, Manziel and Brees are so similar in weight and height. Why cant this kid succeed with that weight and height or with his god giving talent? Oh yeah i forgot ya’ll experts analyst say he can’t.

  35. troy43mvp says: May 7, 2014 11:05 AM

    Comparing Brees to Manz is ludicrous. One is a yearly Proven Pro Bowler and the other hasn’t thrown an NFL pass. Trolls that are trashing Ben are so transparent. The man was asked the question on a radio show and he gave his thoughts. His opinion is probably a little more warranted seeing how he actually plays the position.

  36. weepingjebus says: May 7, 2014 11:16 AM

    “So I immediately sent Manziel a 12-pack of my favorite emergency cheeseburgers.”

  37. boisestatewhodat says: May 7, 2014 11:23 AM

    No issue at all with Ben…he’s likely a hall of fame QB as well. Just get tired of hearing all the talk about how tough he is…he isn’t. Favre was tough. He took twice as many shots as Ben and kept playing. Ben misses games on a regular basis.

  38. jebdamone says: May 7, 2014 11:28 AM

    i can’t believe that someone would even need an explanation pertaining to the difference between brees and manziel. they play a completely different style of football. probably the only similarity between the two QBs is their size.

  39. boisestatewhodat says: May 7, 2014 11:30 AM

    Black and Gold Bowl…12/15!

  40. mightbegoingtohellforthis says: May 7, 2014 12:00 PM

    If he gets drafted by a team with a decent O-line that can pass protect and create good throwing lanes he’ll do just fine.

  41. enoughofthatalready says: May 7, 2014 12:19 PM

    He took twice as many shots as Ben and kept playing. Ben misses games on a regular basis.
    -
    Ben missed 0 games last year.

  42. enoughofthatalready says: May 7, 2014 12:22 PM

    He took twice as many shots as Ben and kept playing.
    -
    Twice as many shots? Maybe only because Favre played for 20 years but Favre knew how to get rid of the ball whether it was overhand, underhand, sideways or behind the back. Ben has not been behind a decent OL in his entire career and just holds the ball.

  43. enoughofthatalready says: May 7, 2014 12:23 PM

    There should be no concern about Manziel’s durability because by the time he becomes a full-fledged starter, the defenders will not be able to look in the direction of a QB without a penalty and/or fine.

  44. daburgher says: May 7, 2014 12:30 PM

    @boisestatewhodat

    Ben is on pace to be sacked WAY more times than Brett Favre.. get your facts straight

  45. thegreatgabbert says: May 7, 2014 12:52 PM

    Manziel worries that Big Bentnose isn’t smart enough. “He was the last Blake Bortles”, in Johnny’s estimation.

  46. sbchampsagain says: May 7, 2014 1:00 PM

    Ben missed 0 games last year.
    -
    Ben has played in all 16 games just twice in his 10 year career.

    Due to injuries ands “other” reasons. Wink-wink, nod-nod.

  47. bobzilla1001 says: May 7, 2014 1:00 PM

    The iconic Ben Roethlisberger — the ONLY quarterback in league history with 2 rings with 1 TD pass — has spoken.

    Secondly, Roethlisberger has played an entire 16-game regular season only twice (2008 and 2013) in 10 seasons. The Steelers are 6-3 in the 9 most recent games played without him, going back to 2010. That would suggest to me that BIG Ben has missed his share of games.

  48. Nofoolnodrool says: May 7, 2014 1:54 PM

    The iconic Ben Roethlisberger — the ONLY quarterback in league history with 2 rings with 1 TD pass — has spoken.

    It’s funny how this poster bashes Ben every chance he gets, but I bet he was boasting about WE won two Super Bowls with a lame QB. You didn’t play a down for the Steelers…..you can’t have it both ways the hatred for Ben and the glory from Ben….think about it and suddenly your comfortable with your hypocrite status.

  49. simonator917 says: May 7, 2014 10:40 PM

    I’m pretty sure that when they’re comparing Manziel to Brees they’re referring to his size.

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