The 2014 NFL Draft is only a few days away, and the detractors of Johnny Manziel are trying to get their shots in while they still can.
The defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns, Vance Bedford, released this less than complimentary tweet about Johnny Football.
Manziel is a top 10 pick by the scouts. I wish him the best. He played backyard ball for 3 years. Now he will have to learn how to be a Qb
— Vance Bedford (@CoachBedfordUT) May 5, 2014
Later, Bedford went on to allude that he meant spread quarterbacks in college struggle in the NFL and that he wished Manziel nothing but the best.
By stating the fact that scouts consider him a top pick, Bedford is subtly stating he doesn’t agree. That is fine, as one of the best things about sports is that everyone is entitled to an opinion. When he says that he has played backyard ball for three years, it is hard to determine exactly what he means. He could be trying to state that Texas A&M faced weaker opponents than the Longhorns even though the Aggies played some of the highest ranked teams of the 2013 season, or he could be trying to say that it is backyard football in the sense that Manziel was like a high school freshman playing against a bunch of eighth graders.
The clear shot was taking at the end of the tweet, when Bedford said that Manziel needed to learn how to be a quarterback. He could have stated that Manziel needs to adapt to the NFL, or that he thinks he still has to mature to be a NFL quarterback and that he still could use work in certain areas. By stating that he needs to learn how to be a quarterback, that is clearly intended to break him down as a player and suggests that he has no idea what he is doing.
Some people may have brushed this off, but Manziel’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, did the right thing and defended his client. Bedford was over the line, and Burkhardt parodied the attacks on Manziel by wishing Bedford luck and telling him that he needs to learn to coach in a real conference. This is in reference to the fact that before Texas, Bedford was the defensive coordinator the Louisville Cardinals and his team did not always face the stiffest of competition.
In a sport where most fans think that agents are only after signing big name clients for the money, it is great to see that Manziel has someone who is looking out for his best interests on and off the field.