Johnny Manziel’s Footwork Similar To Jay Cutler’s


The Cleveland Browns finally decided to unleash their first round phenom on the NFL last Sunday and Johnny Manziel quickly and emphatically laid an enormous egg.  Others would describe it as laying a giant expletive, as the 7-6 Browns, who were coming off a one point loss to the Indianapolis Colts, couldn’t muster a single point in a 30-0 drubbing at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Analysts were eager and right to point out the poor footwork of the heralded rookie as one of the main reasons he struggled mightily in his first career start.  Although he ruled college football during his abbreviated Texas A & M career with a unique skill set that included amazing scrambling abilities, the NFL is a different game played by bigger, faster, better athletes and coached by better coaches.  I’m sure Manziel will learn his lesson and start to understand the importance of solid footwork that will allow the ball to come out on time and the mental approach for going through his reads properly as well.  ,

If Manziel doesn’t, he will end up like Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, which is another horror story.

Jay Cutler and the Bears sit in the cellar of the NFC North and look like they are on a steep slope downward in his sixth season with the team and the ninth of his career.  Cutler has not learned his lessons about proper footwork and timing over his career of almost a decade.  He has great arm talent, but little else.  His body language and overall demeanor inspires no one.

Chicago made a huge blunder by signing him to a big-money long-term deal, as he is about to help another coach find the unemployment line.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Josh McCown after the long-time journeyman put up fantastic numbers while playing for those same under-achieving Bears last season in Cutler’s absence, so the offense around Cutler really isn’t the problem with Matt Forte in the backfield, Martellus Bennett at tight end and big receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall out wide.  After so much time, Cutler still floats around in his footwork, rarely hitting his back foot and delivering a pass on time.  He is taking sack after sack, not necessarily because of a bad offensive line, but due to his lack of mental discipline.  And this lack of discipline, along with the other deficiencies I mentioned are why the Chicago Bears and their fans will continue to struggle, as long as he is their signal-caller.

Can “Johnny Football” avoid the Cutler pitfalls and become a solid starter?

Johnny Manziel will do well to take a look at Cutler’s film and then compare and contrast that with Tom Brady’s.  Quick, decisive, solid footwork, which includes getting that back foot set in the dirt and pushing off of it to deliver accurate and on-time passes, not floating out routes that allow defenders to undercut and intercept.  I think Manziel will improve dramatically in a short period of time if he puts away his ego a little bit and allows the coaches to coach him up about what it takes to play in the big-boy league.

If he doesn’t, his slight frame and lack of financial investment by the Browns won’t allow him to have a nine-year career like Jay Cutler.

About Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson

Former NFL quarterback, training youth QB's in Tampa, Florida. Football Analyst for Bright House Sports Network and Football Insiders.