Johnny Manziel Hopes He's a Better Passer than Tim Tebow, and He Is

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJune 11, 2013

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Everybody has an opinion on Tim Tebow, and "Johnny Football" is no exception.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies dropped in on the set of ESPN's First Take on Monday while they were on location in San Antonio for the NBA Finals and talked about Tebow signing with the New England Patriots.

The topic wasn't shocking, but Manziel's response was.

When asked by Skip Bayless if he's a better passer than Tebow, Manziel was quite candid.

"I would hope I'm a better passer than Tim Tebow," Manziel says at the 2:45 mark of the video below. "Hopefully, I wouldn't have to go into an offseason and work on mechanics, because as a freshman and as a redshirt freshman, I tried to work on that before I ever even got into position to where I'd be questioned about that."

From a mechanics standpoint, Manziel has a point.

Tebow's mechanics—and his slow delivery in particular—are a reason he has bounced around in the NFL. That's something that can be fixed early in college, which Tebow probably should have done.

While Tebow did make efforts to do so—specifically before his senior season—it wasn't really needed for the Gators. In fact, according to the above report from the Orlando Sentinel, Florida coaches took him into a digital laboratory early in his career to configure a throwing motion specifically to alleviate shoulder pain.

His primary goal in Gainesville was to win games. He did that at a high level, so why mess with success?

Manziel chose to correct things early. He made the world tour this offseason, and one of his trips took him to San Diego to visit with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. with the goal of becoming a better pocket passer

But when it comes to statistics, using Tebow's 47.9 percent completion percentage in the NFL as a jumping-off point is useless.

If you compare their career college numbers, the two are actually very similar.

Manziel completed 68 percent of his passes with a passing efficiency of 155.32 during his redshirt freshman season in College Station, which are remarkably similar to Tebow's career 66.4 percent completion percentage and passing efficiency of 170.8.

A better passer? Statistically, it's up for debate. 

But that wasn't Manziel's point. He was talking about the specific styles and career progression of the two while in college.

Florida fans probably don't care, because they got two BCS National Championships out of the deal. But the Gators ran a system that fit Tebow's strengths and hid his weaknesses, which is a big reason why he finds himself as an NFL journeyman

So was Manziel taking a shot at Tebow?

Not really.

It seems like everyone has an opinion on Tebow, so why should Manziel be an exception?

Manziel wasn't saying he's better than Tebow; he was saying that Tebow hurt himself by not focusing on his future as much as he probably should have when he was in Gainesville.

That's the truth.

Good for Manziel for being honest when asked a question that is, quite honestly, impossible to answer. Statistically, the two players are similar as college quarterbacks, but different in terms of the way they approached the early portions of their college careers.