NFL quarterback prospect Johnny Manziel was recently quoted saying that Seattle Seahawks signal-caller Russell Wilson has paved the way for short quarterbacks like himself to be in the league.
In the article, which was in the Houston Chronicle, Manziel said:
“I think he’s kicked the door wide open,” Manziel said about Wilson. “You’re seeing more guys being successful avoiding that first wave of pressure — get out and do things outside the pocket.”
Manziel is six feet tall while Wilson comes in at 5-11.
My initial response to Manziel’s statement was what about Drew Brees? He stands six feet tall, yet he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since arguably 2004 when he was with the San Diego Chargers. Brees has thrown for more than 5,000 yards in four of his last six seasons and has a career 95.3 quarterback rating.
Not bad for a guy who is just one inch taller than Wilson. I know Brees doesn’t run much, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t mobile either.
Even if guys like Wilson and Brees “kicked the door wide open,” they would have broken their foot if a guy by the name of Doug Flutie hadn’t fought his way back into the NFL from the CFL in 1998 playing for the Buffalo Bills.
In 1999, Flutie had his best season in the NFL. He passed for 3,171 yards and ran for 476. Last season, Wilson passed for 3,357 yards and rushed for 539. Sound familiar?
I don’t blame Manziel for the quote. He was probably asked specifically about Wilson, rather than just shorter quarterbacks. Nonetheless, Flutie was the first one to knock on that door, and I am pretty sure Drew Brees kicked it down years ago with his own Super Bowl title.