In a way, Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and top NFL Draft prospect Johnny Manziel play the game the same way. They’ll scramble out of the pocket on a whim trying to make something special happen, and generally both of them do, while taking some stiff shots in the process.
There’s one glaring difference, though, between Roethlisberger and Manziel, aside from Roethlisberger’s professional resume: Big Ben is 6-5 and over 240-pounds, while Manziel is barely six-feet and barely 200-pounds.
This is exactly why Roethlisberger recently admitted that he has some doubts in his mind, like a lot of other people, about Manziel’s long-term durability in the league.
“I was in the weight room the other day with Joey Porter, (and he was) asking me what I thought about Manziel,” Roethlisberger said on his radio show. “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.”
For all the praises that Manziel does get, and deservedly so, this is one part of him that has been under constant scrutiny. Roethlisberger is right, though. These men that he’ll be facing now will not only be nearly twice his size, but that have the speed to go along with their game and it won’t be so easy for Manziel to get away like he was accustomed to in college.