How Do You Stop Johnny Manziel?
It's the biggest question in college football right now. And there aren't too many answers.
How do you stop Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel?
That's what faces top-ranked Alabama when it travels to College Station to avenge the lone blemish from a 2012 national championship season. As we've seen in the only two losses suffered with Johnny Football starting, contain the playmaker and you have a good chance to win.
In Monday's press conference, Alabama head coach Nick Saban stressed execution and fundamentals as the key for his team this weekend. As he put it, "If you take care of the cents, the dollars can add up."
We asked our staff to share their thoughts on stopping the Heisman Trophy winner. Here were the answers:
Martin Houston (Houston and Huber Show) - First of all, I'm not sure you go in with a goal to stop or shut him down. I think the more realistic strategy is to make him 1-dimensional. I would make him beat me with his arm. I would use my front line to build a wall about 2-3 yards from the line (creating some pocket pressure) and have the end man on the line of scrimmage play flat to the sideline. I would then have a Birddog Spy, meaning they are coming on a controlled blitz on passes. You have to keep him from beating you with his legs, but you can't just sit back and let him pick you apart with his arm!
Baron Huber (Houston and Huber Show) - In order to beat Johnny you have to create a dominant push up the middle with your pass rush while your defensive ends rush no deeper than his pass drop. The push up the middle flushes the pocket and pushes him out into the defensive end creating an easy sack. The key is the defensive end CAN'T ever pinch inside, he always has to keep contain on Johnny. Good contain forces him back to the middle where hopefully our strong push up the middle awaits.
Chris Stewart (The Chris Stewart Show) - I think the Alabama Offense is the biggest key to stopping Manziel. Last year the Tide couldn't sustain anything early against the Aggies, and Texas A&M kept momentum going. That raised the confidence level of their defense, as well. If Alabama can move the sticks throughout the first half, the points will come, and frustration will set in for the Aggies.
Ryan Fowler (The Game) - How to stop the Johnny Manziel circus? Make sure the alcohol is turned off, that is how you stop Johnny Football. Seriously though, place pressure on him and force him to make quick decisions, try to limit his ability to beat you with his feet. Maintain long offensive drives, dominate the time of possession, which in return will keep Johnny football off the field.
What's your strategy for stopping Manziel?