Texas Longhorns defensive coodinator Vance Bedford opened up a can of worms with his tweets about former Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel. Look closer, and you might just see the hidden message.
Bedford tweeted that Manziel played three seasons of “backyard ball” and would have to learn how to play under center in the NFL. He did soften his stance a little as the Aggie faithful attacked the first year coach. He wished Manziel well in the pros.
He didn’t back down, however, from his statement that spread offenses do not succeed in the NFL and that college quarterbacks who come from such a system tend to struggle at the next level. He mentioned that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady run a shotgun offense and not a spread like Manziel did. Buried in this series of tweets is the message Bedford wants to get across to recruits.
What exactly is Bedford trying to convey? What is he hoping recruits will take from his tweets?
Come to Texas and learn how to play a pro-style offense that will prepare you for the NFL.
The Louisville Cardinals ran a West Coast style of offense with a mix of zone read. This offense helped make Teddy Bridgewater into a top NFL prospect. Draft critics have suggested Bridgewater may be the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft. Bedford is letting recruits know that when you come to Texas, you learn how to drop back and read a defense like the pros do. That’s what you will learn at Texas — not some system where you just run around in the backfield like a chicken with its head cut off.
This is the recruiting angle in Bedford’s tweets.
Texas is lagging behind Texas A&M in recruiting. Charlie Strong and his staff need to change this, and quickly. If stirring up a hornet’s nest to get some attention helps, then by all means stir that nest. This is all part of the culture change taking place in Austin.
The previous regime would have paid Manziel a compliment and gone about its business. Not anymore. Any avenue Texas can take to get a recruit’s attention is on the table. Strong and Co. are showing that no one is off limits — even a former Heisman trophy winner.