Johnny Manziel’s gunslinger style of quarterback play reminds a lot of people of a lot of people. Gil Brandt threw out the name Fran Tarkenton. Mike Mayock thinks Manziel falls somewhere between Doug Flutie and Tarkenton.
Who does Brett Favre see when he watches Johnny Football out there slinging it around? He sees a young version of himself.
“I haven’t watched him much, but one game I watched, for like three quarters, was the Ole Miss game,” Favre told USA Today. “I almost thought I was watching film of a young Brett Favre.”
What impresses Favre most about Manziel is his “whatever it takes” attitude. As in, “I’ll do whatever it takes to win this game, including scramble around for a half-hour and throw it into triple coverage.”
Another thing that impresses Favre is Manziel’s arm. “I didn’t throw near as well as him,” Favre beamed. “He may have that capability – unbelievable throws and can makes plays with his feet. I was impressed.”
The downside of the gunslinger/whatever it takes approach of course is that it sometimes leads to disaster. Favre demonstrated that fact at times in his career (including one unfortunate occasion at the end of the 2010 NFC title game).
But Favre also won a ton of ball games, and one Super Bowl ring. NFL personnel people looking at Manziel will have to decide for themselves, do they see another Brett Favre, or another Fran Tarkenton or another Flutie? Or do they see a bust waiting to happen?