It Begins, O'Brien/Manziel: New Year's Eve's Perfect Texan Storm


The Texans' hire of O'Brien would seem to tip their hand somewhat on what they're thinking of doing with the number one overall pick. I mean, you're hiring a quarterback guru, why not get him a shiny new quarterback to play with?

The two quarterbacks that most experts (and plenty of non-experts) seem to see as potentially worthy of the number one overall pick are Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Manziel. Other non-quarterback names dot the top of some big boards (mostly, South Carolina superhero defensive end Jadeveon Clowney), but the Texans should not over think this -- if there is a 50/50 chance you think a quarterback can be a franchise guy, and you need a franchise quarterback, you take the quarterback over the "sure thing" any-other-position, all day, every day.

Quarterback is that important. In the NFL, it's the final exam. As a team, it counts for like two thirds of your grade. When you need one, and you have the first pick in the draft (as "franchise QB acquisition" methods go, #1/#1 is the highest percentage hit rate in the array of minuscule hit rates), you take the quarterback and don't look back.

If the Texans determine that Bridgewater is that guy, I won't have a big problem with it. That said, I defy you to come up with a single football reason why Johnny Manziel isn't the best quarterback available in this draft.

All Manziel has done is pile up ungodly stats in some of the most scintillating ways possible in the most harrowing conference in college football. Arm strength? He has it. Accuracy? Ridiculously accurate. Extending plays and scrambling? The best ever.

And ironically, I think it's the last one, the ability to run with the football and improvise, that negatively paints the overall picture on Manziel the Player. He's almost a victim of his own greatness in a skill that clearly NFL fans and expert-types are trying to wrap their brain around. People, lazy people, who see his magnificent ability to scramble use that to pigeonhole him as a "type of quarterback whose game may not translate to the NFL." Never mind that "that type of quarterback" has never translated better to the NFL than it does in 2013, but Manziel can throw from the pocket! He can make reads! He's improved as a passer!

In short, Johnny Football is REALLY good at football! PERIOD.

So once people are done inaccurately analyzing Manziel the Player, they proceed to Manziel the Partier as the reason to bypass him, but the fact is, for all of his offseason, social media fueled drama last summer, he a) still worked as hard at improving his game as any player in college football and b) hasn't really had an off field "incident" of any type since "oversleeping" at the Manning Passing Academy in July.

Besides, if part of the "Manziel bravado package" is a little bit of carousing, then so be it. Houston needs Manziel, and quite frankly, considering some of the weapons-challenged teams waiting to pounce on the Kerrville native if the Texans go another direction, Manziel needs Houston.

So I'll roll with my theory -- the O'Brien news breaking practically in the middle of Johnny Football's final gift to college football fans was a sign. It's now up to Bob McNair, Rick Smith, and yes, Bill O'Brien, to finish the job.

Texan fans have subsisted the last eight years on a steady, vanilla diet of Kubiak and Schaub. That's no way to live. With O'Brien and Manziel, you're talking about a complete facelift, a facelift that would make Andy Reid and Alex Smith in Kansas City look like minor botox by comparison.

The Texans would be undergoing a culture teardown, a Kubi-ectomy, a total reset. A true NFL version of CTRL-ALT-DEL.

After all these years, "Football time in Houston" would finally be cool.

Starting January 2, 2014, listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.


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28 comments
bp1697
bp1697

The football reason to stay away from JF is the long line of spread offense QB's who have failed in the NFL. Is he better than RGIII, VY, Andre Ware? Maybe, maybe not. QB's who run a spread offense in college have no idea how to play QB in the NFL. They have 1 or 2 receiver reads at most then scramble around and make plays against less talented defensive players. It is an exciting and successful college offensive scheme, but building an NFL team around a spread offense QB is too risky. Not only is there the risk that the QB never learns how to play NFL QB, the franchise will have to dodge the kid getting hurt the first few years while he is still running around trying to make the plays he made in college.

surflessons
surflessons

I have not followed the OilTexans since Earl Cambell. This is a no brainer for Obrien. You will make Manziel's salary back in jerseys alone. A free draft pick that way.

Ella
Ella

I don't get it. I've had my Oiler Luv Ya Blue heart broken so many times, and then my Texans heart...But I keep hoping, hoping...after every broken season...that my home team will grow some balls. And here's a kid with a real spark, electricity and swagger along with the skill sets to back it up - and by some unexpected aligning of the stars, we have the #1 pick! And all some of you can do is sneer and repeat the same mantra of 'won't translate to the NFL' or even more perplexing, 'he's an immature punk' like we're talking about recruits for your neighborhood Pee Wee league.   This kind of thinking got us a history of mediocrity. This isn't Tebow. The script was already written before he was out of school, the play on the field was self-evident. This is more Tarkington, Archie Manning, Favre.

He may not work out, but that's a risk you take with any if these guys. So what? We make a mistake and get a veteran or trade. If he works out, the world is wonderful. If he doesn't, and he becomes a superstar in Jacksonville, Cleveland, 

Minnesota....we will never get over it. I know I won't. Cmon, Rick Smith, don't make this another Texans 'We could have had..'


Corey Deiterman
Corey Deiterman

Because he's not a solid quarterback and his tenure on whatever NFL team drafts him will be a goddamn fiasco.

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

First, because Johnny Football is a dumb name. Second, because we already have a college superstar QB in Case Keenum.

David Alan Turchen
David Alan Turchen

As much as i like Johnny football I have reservations about him as an NFL quarterback. He's been great in collage but I don't think he's surpassed the Longhorn career of Vince Young whose game was similar. We all know how his NFL career has turned out.

frankkikta
frankkikta

Hey we had an Aggie coach and look where he took us. Teddy is the real deal Johnny is a huge risk. I feel the same way about Johnny as I did Vince Young - Johnny may or may not make in the NFL and I for one am ready to move past and not bet on another Aggie. They can all stay in College Station.

david2.0b
david2.0b

"Texan fans have subsisted the last eight years on a steady, vanilla diet of Kubiak and Schaub. That's no way to live." ...AND a Kubi-ectomy... great writing Sean! It's all frosting on the Texan's cake after the Kubi-ectomy. Any shiny new QB for O'brien to mentor should be fun to watch! I'm an Aggie though, so Manziel to the Texans would be a dream come true!

thelastcheese
thelastcheese

I can give you some football reasons.  Manziel has to be an elite scrambler because his pocket presence is not good.  He is skittish in the pocket and is too quick to bail out of it even when the pressure isn't there yet.  Constantly scrambling when it isn't necessary won't go too well with his slight frame in the NFL.  That skittishness is not something you usually see get coached out of a player and it brings to question if he can ever be the type of quarterback who can sit in the pocket and pick apart a defense like Teddy can.


He also is very inconsistent with his mechanics, especially in his base, which effects accuracy and velocity.  


Bridgewater, however, has the positive skill set that is the foundation to be an elite NFL quarterback.  His mental acuity for the game is the one attribute you will 100% of time find in the NFL's elite. (Brady, Manning, Brees, and Rodgers.)  Expect him to have almost the same measurements as Aaron Rodgers did at the combine (6'2" and 225 lbs.)

Steven Perry
Steven Perry

Why is this publication so hard for Jonathon football?

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

johnny football is two tequila shots away from date raping someone. hes a punk....

Stuart Leo Dulek
Stuart Leo Dulek

They need to get Jay Cutler first and have Manziel study under him for a couple years like Bledsoe/Brady or Favre/ Rodgers

Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

Nah.  Johnny Football is the second coming of Doug Flutie.  An observation about Fran Tarkenton before he got started going great guns in the NFL sums up the Doug Flutie/Tony Romo/Johnny Manziel type of QB.  "He'll win some games he should lose, and he'll lose some games he should win."

sopadegato
sopadegato

I agree with this so much it isn't even funny. It may not be the popular pick. It certainly isn't the safe pick. But damn if it isn't the exciting pick. Bridgewater is the "safe" choice. He's done nothing to draw ire, his numbers are solid, and he's a bit taller - but in the NFL post-Drew Brees and Russel Wilson, is height that much of an issue? Bridgewater doesn't inspire any passion, but people either love or hate Manziel, there is no middle ground. Johnny's exciting to watch, he's got everything stat-wise people could want, and he's done it all against far more stout competition - compare the SEC to the AAC sometime - and he's exactly the shot in the arm the Texans need.

surflessons
surflessons

Give Obrien one full season personally coaching Manziel and both will be getting raises. Back up QB should be McGloin too.

surflessons
surflessons

Case played at an unknown college in a unknown league. His starness could adjust Manziels chin strap maybe.

ags2sec
ags2sec

@frankkikta Well, as illogical as it is, I can at least respect your honesty in why you dislike Johnny.  I've seen every hater on the planet harp about his "character problems" and hide behind his lack of prototype size and the fact that he's a spread QB to excuse the real reason......he went to A&M.  These same idiots would take 6'4" scumbag Jamies Winston in a heartbeat over Johnny because he didn't commit the unpardonable sin of attending A&M and lifting them almost singlehandedly into the national spotlight.......grow up and get over it already.  The kid's not prototype size but neither are Russell Wilson or Drew Brees and they seem to be doing just fine.......give the new "QB guru" coach some time with him and watch him fly.  I wouldn't be devastated with Bridgewater but I agree with Sean......here's your chance to turn around this franchise around 180 degrees.  Either take it, or admit you're scared.  Trade down, get an extra pick and take Bortles or Teddy.  Or hell I'd even take Clowney over either of those two.  They're solid but unspectacular QB's........well hell, we've had that for 7 years with Schaub.  If you want more of the same just because you're a Johnny hater.......more power to you, i guess.  Hate on.  And watch some other franchise steal your juice.

valhalla17
valhalla17

I wonder how many people on here partyed and drank when they were 20 like Manziel does. Yeah, let's all get on our high horse and make asinine commments like this. I adds to the quality of this discussion.

Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

Gawker had a piece on Johnny's family ancestry.  Real low lifes. 

David627
David627

Your wet dreams of a Cutler/Johnny Midget orgy just got dashed, Cutler just signed a new 7 year contract. Come up with another improbable nightmare.

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