Plummer, Flutie hope NFL coaches won't alter Manziel


Among hard-line NFL quarterback gurus, there's skepticism that Johnny Manziel will be a success at the next level.

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski initially said he wouldn't draft the Texas A&M star in the first three rounds.

Former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren believes Manziel is a "long shot" for sustained NFL success.

Johnny Football isn't without admirers among the football cognoscenti, though.

Former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer "loves" Manziel's freewheeling style and improvisational playmaking ability.

"But all these camps they have for these kids nowadays, quarterback coaches telling them how to do this and that -- I think that's a bunch of (expletive)," Plummer said, via The Denver Post. "The quarterback position is like no other position in sports. You can't be a robot. You've got to have some panache and some flavor, and I think Johnny Manziel brings that.

"I respect Johnny Football because he lives his life. He's having fun and enjoys it. He brings fun to his position. He's not going to have any regrets when he gets older. He's going to live his life and have a great time."

Plummer's comments are strikingly similar to those of former NFL and CFL star Doug Flutie.

"I hope they don't take the fun out of the game for him," Flutie told's Peter King, "because I felt my first time around they did for me."

It's no surprise that Holmgren sees the quarterback position from a different point of view than Plummer and Flutie.

Holmgren had the greatest success of his career in Green Bay, where he was constantly trying to hem in Brett Favre's playground style. Holmgren had a strictly defined idea of how the position should be played, and Favre often veered from that.

Plummer and Flutie shared that same athletic "sandlot" trait exhibited by Favre, John Elway and Ben Roethlisberger. They are seemingly at their best when the play breaks down, forcing them to flee the pocket where they become an even bigger threat to burn defenses.

It's easy to see why Plummer and Flutie appreciate that same creativity and even a touch of irreverence in Manziel's game.

As the last two Super Bowls have shown, success can come with quarterbacks of wildly divergent skill sets.

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