Johnny Manziel Must Run Less In 2013 to Preserve Health, Title Hopes for Texas A&M

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M has a potent rushing attack with their quarterback, Johnny Manziel, but the Aggies coaching staff need to be protective of their Heisman winner and reel him in to reduce the amount of rushes the diminutive quarterback takes this season.

Manziel ran the ball 201 times last season for 1,410 yards and an astonishing 21 touchdowns, and while those statistics certainly are gaudy and impressive, it’s a risk every time he runs the ball and an injury would derail any title aspirations they have in 2013.

I know Manziel is good enough to run away from the defense and is smart enough to avoid a punishing hit, but it only takes one hit to his head or knee to cripple the Aggies’ dreams of an SEC and BCS National Title.

Hopefully new offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney will be aware of that fact,  and will call more plays than Kliff Kingsbury did a year ago for Manziel to hand the ball off to his stable of running backs.

Christine Michael is gone to the NFL, but the Aggies welcome two transfers that should have a big impact on this offense. Brandon Williams and Tra Carson will team with incumbent starter Ben Malena to form a versatile trio.

Carson is capable of being the banger and short-yardage back at 235-pounds, while Williams can serve as the change-of-pace back and home run threat to complement the all-purpose back that Malena is.

Manziel may not put up the same gaudy rushing totals of a year ago, but it’s a good thing if opposing defenses need to worry about a well-balanced rushing attack rather than a one-man wrecking crew. He is capable of running for another 20-plus touchdowns and 1,500 yards in 2013, but the risk far outweighs the reward.

It won’t be sexy, but if it results in an undefeated season and a BCS national Championship, I think Aggieland will be happy with the final product.

Patrick is a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your network on Google.

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