Johnny Manziel paid close attention to the Super Bowl, and saw just what he was hoping for when it ended: A smallish quarterback holding the Lombardi Trophy. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, in just his second year in the league, is just 5-foot-11. But he's quickly evolved into one of the NFL's most dynamic quarterbacks, something Manziel believes he can do as well, in a league that historically hasn't made much room for short quarterbacks.
"I think he's kicked the door wide open," Manziel said of Wilson, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. "You're seeing more guys being successful avoiding that first wave of pressure -- get out and do things outside the pocket."
Manziel identified speedy Jadeveon Clowney, who will enter the league as the draft's most highly-regarded defensive prospect, as the type of player who will, in time, require NFL offenses to be more mobile at the quarterback position.
"Wilson does some things he's not asked to do, when things don't go exactly as scripted. He's able to extend the play," Manziel said. "One reason they were so successful early in the Super Bowl was that he was four-of-five on third down and was able to continue to push the ball down the field and get them where they needed to be."
Credit Manziel for pre-empting any snickers about his height at the NFL Scouting Combine this week. He's listed at 6-1 on the Texas A&M roster, but won't measure that, he said.
"I'm going to measure 6 feet -- I'm 72 inches on the dot," Manziel said. "If they want to try to jump on my shoulders and squish me down, it's not going to be any less than that."
Like every other measurable at the combine -- and even some of the immeasurables -- there are no secrets. Manziel coming up an inch shorter than his TAMU listing was going to come out in Indianapolis, anyway. Now, perhaps, it won't be quite as big a story that he's admitted to a phantom inch.