In a recent interview on ESPN radio's “College Coach Factoids,” longtime college football coach and current ESPN analyst, Johnnie Mangino, talked about his experiences with Johnny Manziel. Mangino knows firsthand the risks of putting a quarterback that will turn out to be a “thorn in the side burner.” As he stated: “You'd be nuts to take a high school kid who's going to go into the NFL draft and give that kid some time in the classroom. You'll probably lose more games because of it.” Mangino is very protective of his players, and he certainly did not hold back when discussing Johnny Football's immature nature.
“You cannot take a kid who's going to go into the professional football draft, sit there and learn everything he has to know just by sitting in the pocket and watching him,” Mangino said. “I had a player come in and sit there for four years and learn it all. He could not even make a receiver to step up and run a simple play. Now, he's an amazing player.” Mangino continued, “You have to be careful with players who have character issues and cannot make a throw during a game. You have to be careful when you bring them into your organization.”
The New York Jets were rumored to be hosting visits from several different quarterbacks this off season. One of those visits reportedly involved a visit from Tom Brady. Mangino praised Brady as a young quarterback and mentioned that he worked very well under the guidance of Tom Coughlin in New York. Mangino was also asked if he thought that Johnny Football could develop into a successful player in the National Football League. His answer was both positive and negative.
“I thought Johnny was great at Texas A&M. The thing is, he got hurt and had to sit out the whole year. That's a big hit to a young quarterback. The key is, does he have the physical skills to be a successful quarterback in the National Football League?
I'm not saying he can't make it in the NFL, but I'm not going to count him in as a starter right now. I think we all know that the Jets need a veteran quarterback, whether it's a young guy like Johnny Murphy or someone in his prime like Tom Brady. I think they would rather have Brady for their team. If they would go after a young guy that has more skill, they would have to give up more draft picks to get him.
The bottom line is that Mangino and the rest of the Jets' staff have to get a lot more of the right skill positions (wide receiver and tight end) this year. The secondary will also have to do a better job of picking off underneath passes. Mangino is a decent fit for the position, but it just doesn't make much sense to spend a top 5 pick on him. I doubt the Jets will make a run to the Super Bowl with any of their young receivers. It might be all about Brett Favre for the rest of the season.
What I do expect is that backup quarterback Mark Sanchez will see some action this week. I don't think the Jets are ready yet to put their entire defense on their back and start Sanchez. This is a big game for them and a chance to show what they can do, but I still don't think it's a great idea.
I think the Jets will come out flat this week and lose to the Raiders. I also think the team will have a really good training camp and preseason to help themselves get ready for the 2021 season. New York has a very solid defensive unit and a great secondary. They just need to gel as a team and figure out what exactly the plan is for the secondary.