The week that was in the always unpredictable life of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel:
- Hopes are certainly up for Texas A&M fans who want Johnny Football to make a return for his junior season next year, futile as they may be. But Aggies aren't quitters, and a lot of them are proving it with the growing popularity of a Facebook page launched to try to encourage Manziel to stick around. Texas A&M student Jonathan Narramore launched the "Stay in Aggieland Manziel 2014" page. And according to kbtx.com, the page exploded in about 24 hours. As of Friday, it had drawn more than 23,000 likes. Narramore hopes the page will influence Manziel to stay.
Wishful thinking, to be sure. But hey, Jonathan: If you're going to dream, dream big.
"I believe that with a good defense, Johnny back, hopefully (Mike) Evans back too, and of course (coach Kevin) Sumlin, we'll win a national championship next year for the first time since 1939," he said.
- Respect for Johnny Football's game is definitely up with LSU's defense, even though the Tigers might be the only team with a reason not to be too worried about Manziel. After all, Manziel is 0-1 against LSU, playing perhaps his worst career game in a 24-19 loss last year. He was intercepted three times, sacked three times and managed just 27 rushing yards. But to listen to LSU defensive lineman Anthony Johnson -- a pro prospect himself -- one would think Manziel tore the Tigers apart. Click below for Johnson's glowing assessment of Johnny Football's skills:
In fact, LSU so respects Manziel's scrambling ability that coach Les Miles has charged a future NFL wide receiver with the task of impersonating Manziel in practice.*
- Down with Texas A&M wide receivers coach David Beaty's nickname for the most exciting throws Manziel makes: The ones that come only after he's forced the defensive line to chase him in three or four directions, and has made them all look silly doing it. Beaty calls them "trash" throws, according to dallasnews.com.
Beaty runs his receivers through "scramble drills" in practice, specifically designed to help receivers know where and how to get open after Manziel has turned the play into a sandlot ad lib. And with Manziel crossing the line of scrimmage for rushing yards less often this year, the trash balls have been more frequent in 2013.
"We can be employing our scramble drill to the left, and everything looks like it's working in unison," Beaty said. "And then he turns back and goes to the right. Now, the scramble drill has to reorganize. ... They all understand that there's an extra 15-20 passes a year for somebody to catch, if you're just working your tail off on scramble drill."
- Two NFL veteran quarterbacks -- one retired, one active -- doubled-down on Johnny Football's NFL potential earlier this week. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Breesdownplayed Manziel's size as a potential problem for the Aggies star, and ex-Dallas Cowboys star Troy Aikman said Manziel is entering the league at the right time for a running quarterback.
So if you heard all about Manziel's scrambling, 360-degree spin move that put Mississippi State defensive end Denico Autry on his butt last week, but never got a chance to see it, we have you covered. This GIF image of the play from thescore.com is about the best angle you'll find anywhere. Unless you're Autry. If you're Autry, there is no good angle.*
Johnny and Drake together again
Let it not be said that Manziel can't have a good time during the football season. Drake, a friend of Manziel's, had a concert at the AT&T Center on Tuesday, and with the Aggies idle this week, Manziel made his way to the show and got a personal shout-out from the rapper during the concert, along with a few members of the San Antonio Spurs who were in attendance.
Johnny by the numbers
Could Manziel break his own SEC record for total offense (5,116 yards) this year, despite his downturn in rushing yards? It's not unfathomable. He now has 3,924 for the year, 1,192 yards shy of his own incredible mark from 2012. The Aggies have two regular-season games left, plus a bowl appearance. That gives Manziel three games in which he would have to average just under 400 yards of total offense to reach the mark. In fact, he's averaged close to 400 for the year to date.*
Farewell, Johnny Football
For that sliver of a demographic that's old enough to appreciate Phil Collins music, yet young enough to be a card-carrying Johnny Manziel fan, goodbullhunting.com has produced the most syrupy, sappy, Manziel goodbye/tribute video yet. Delivered from the perspective of the now-demolished Kyle Field, of course. Haters, don't bother: