(1090 The Fan) — One hot topic surrounding the 2014 NFL Combine has been Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel’s size. The college sensation stands at 5-foot-11 1/2 inches — a half-inch shorter than what has long been the unofficial minimum height an NFL quarterback should be.
On Friday, the upcoming quarterback draft class was measured for height, weight and size, reports CBS Sports.
The notion that NFL quarterbacks need to be more than six feet tall has been backed by reasons such as visibility and endurance; NFL quarterbacks needs to see over the offensive line, read the defense and withstand an initial hit from a 300-pound defender. However, that theory has slowly started to fade in the past few years — and the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson may be the quarterback to debunk the theory all together, especially after his performance this past season, leading Seattle to a Super Bowl victory.
In Indianapolis to talk about the evolution of the NFL quarterback was Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll who says Wilson is proof that size has nothing to do with greatness.
“It doesn’t matter what package he goes in,” Carroll said during a press conference Friday. “It’s not because he’s 5-11 1/2 that he’s a great football player. He’s just a great football player. There are some notable players who are likewise, and I think it was Johnny who said that Russell has opened the door for guys like him. That’s true. The last few years, the general thinking was that a guy like Russell couldn’t play. That’s obviously wrong. but not everybody that’s 5 -11 1/2 can be a great football player. All of the elements that make up Russell make him very unique, no matter how tall he is.”
Wilson may be the perfect example for Manziel to go by. And, Carroll expressed that the way college football is played now should be a lesson to NFL scouts about the possibilities there are outside of the pocket.
“A whole brand new game starts when the athletes move,” said Carroll. “There’s nothing more difficult for a defensive coach to deal with than a scrambling quarterback. It’s the most unpredictable thing. We’re seeing more of and more of it. But you can’t last in the league just running the football. The pounding is too great. But you don’t have to be a runner to use that mobility effectively.”
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