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Is Johnny Manziel Incomparable?

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on February 21, 2014 – 12:14 pm

(Two Heisman winners from Texas, AP)

(Two Heisman winners from Texas, AP)

A smoky garnish of sadness arrived alongside my chopped beef sandwich on an otherwise celebratory night at an Adams Morgan barbecue joint.

I was happy Texas A&M beat Duke on New Year’s Eve. I was happy to celebrate the holiday with friends and fatty cow cuts. I was a little glum I’d never see Johnny Manziel play college football again.

Manziel was as transfixing a quarterback as I’ve seen play for  scholarship dollars. The jackrabbit from Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, routinely stepped out of tackles, changed directions and improvised from 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage until he either ran past defenders or completed jump-balls he had no business heaving. He was also an oil heir making it rain for all to see, unapologetically  showcasing the collegiate celebrity life in 140 characters or less. Still, Manziel survived his senior season without a debilitating scandal. He missed the first half of a game against Rice, which the Aggies won by 19 points, but otherwise continued throwing up dollar signs and baiting columnists. He shared how the “Johnny Football” celebrity affected him, engendering sympathy or loathing depending on how you felt.

Now with the NFL Scouting Combine kicking off in Indianapolis, Manziel has sculpted a narrative of growth and maturity while maintaining the brashness that fuels his brand. He will address the media but won’t throw.

Until they hear from the man himself, Manziel’s best use for NFL scribes is as a comparison to past players, a swizzle stick for debate. Read more »

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Griffin III Focused During Rehab Process

Posted by Chris Herting on February 6, 2013 – 12:59 am


What do Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III have in common?

Since the Associated Press began awarding NFL Rookie of the Year following the 1967 season, they are the only two quarterbacks to have won the Heisman one year and NFL Rookie of the Year the next.

Much like Newton, Griffin III enjoyed a clean sweep as he was named the Sporting News Rookie of the Year, Pro Football Weekly Rookie of the Year and NFL Rookie of the Year.

Both quarterbacks experienced success right out of the gate, defying many critics who questioned whether their duel-threat skillsets would translate to the faster NFL game.

However, in the team’s Week 13 Monday Night Football Matchup vs. the Giants, Griffin III broke Cam Newton’s NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback (706 in 2011). He finished the season with 815 yards rushing.

The rookie was voted NFL Rookie of the Week seven times, compared to Cam Newton’s three. In fact, the only quarterback to claim more rookie of the year awards since its’ inception (2002) was Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who won nine (2004).

Overall, Newton threw for 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns, and an 84.5 quarterback rating through the air, along with 706 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in his rookie season; pretty impressive to say the least.

Griffin amassed 20 touchdowns, 3,200 yards, and a 102.4 quarterback rating to accompany 815 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He joined QB Randall Cunningham (1990) as the only players in NFL history to surpass the 3,000-yard mark passing and rush for 800-plus yards.

A Glimpse Into The Future Read more »

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Posted by Andrew Walker on November 4, 2012 – 11:52 am

Today’s Week 9 matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers is upon us.

Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has been getting in a good workout today on the FedExField turf, and he also exchanged a few words with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton — a rookie phenom himself just a year ago.

Also included in the video is tight end Chris Cooley getting in his route-running and catching drills prior to the game — his first home game since early last season.

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Behind Enemy Lines With Ron Rivera

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 21, 2011 – 11:33 am

AP Image

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is an NFL rookie.  Redskins quarterback John Beck is in his fifth season in the league

Newton has already started more games this season than Beck has in his career.

Newton will have had six days to prepare for this start.  Beck will have had 1,393 days, or approximately 199 weeks.

Newton has six weeks of game-tape for the Redskins defense to review, and Beck has 15 minutes at the end of the Eagles game.

Advantage, Redskins.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera tried to downplay the situation during his Washington media conference call on Wednesday. Read more »

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