Fran Tarkenton: Manziel Has Franchise Qualities, But Has Questionable CharacterBy: Val Powell - March 12, 2014
Former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton sees himself in Johnny Manziel, and has no doubt that the former Texas A&M quarterback can make plays in the league. Whether Manziel has the qualities to become a leader is a different story.
Manziel is being considered as one of the NFL’s top three quarterback prospects, together with Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles.
Some say that Manziel’s small frame isn’t ideal for the big league, but Tarkenton, himself slightly smaller than other players during his heyday, thinks size isn’t a problem, as long as one knows how to play the game. And being a prime quarterback is something Manziel can definitely do.
Tarkenton considers Manziel to be a quarterback savant, but he knows that on-field talent is not enough, especially now that the NFL clubs are evaluating probable new players. “You look at your great players, they have to be leaders in the clubhouse and off the field,” Tarkenton said. They don’t necessarily need to be pious churchgoers, but “They have to have character.”
Manziel stands to be a high-reward, but also a high-risk draft pick because of his questionable character. Last summer, he had to prematurely leave the Manning Passing Academy because he overslept, making him miss a morning meeting. Manziel has also been known to have a bad-boy image, if the “exploits” he posted on social media were any indication.
Tarkenton commented that he would have to spend more time with the young player so that he could understand him better. He had already seen what Manziel can do on the field, but character is another matter. Manziel’s off-field behavior could be a problem, Tarkenton said, if Manziel would be drafted in the league. “There’s never been a great quarterback I know of who was a rodent,” Tarkenton added.
During his prime, Tarkenton played 18 seasons, leading the Minnesota Vikings to three appearances at the Super Bowl. When he retired, he owned every major quarterback record.
Johnny Manziel’s Character May Be Questionable But His Game Isn’t!
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