Texas A&M Football: 4 Biggest Improvements Johnny Manziel Has Made in 2013

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistNovember 7, 2013

Texas A&M Football: 4 Biggest Improvements Johnny Manziel Has Made in 2013

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    The Texas A&M football team has been led to a 7-2 record by the stunning play of sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has played even better as a sophomore than he did during his freshman season. 

    The Aggies have the same record as they did after nine games in 2012 because their defense is much weaker. Manziel has had to up his level of play as the offense has had to carry the team. 

    He has improved in multiple areas as a sophomore. Manziel has transformed himself into a complete quarterback. 

    This is a look at how Manziel has improved over his freshman season. 

He Is More Accurate

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    Johnny Manziel has become a more accurate passer during his sophomore season. He completed an even 68 percent of his passes during his freshman season. 

    As a sophomore he is completing 72.5 percent of his passes. He has accomplished this feat after three of the four starting receivers from the 2012 squad graduated.

    Manziel is throwing from different arm angles and has become a more dangerous passer. He has become a surgeon with the football in 2013. He still takes a few chances that he should not, but he has become a better passer in 2013.  

Manziel Is Staying in the Pocket More

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    Johnny Manziel has developed more poise in the pocket during his second year as a starter. He is running a lot less as a sophomore than he did as a freshman. 

    In 13 games in 2012 Manziel had 201 rushing attempts. In nine games in 2013 Manziel has run the ball only 96 times.

    He has become more patient in the pocket and is waiting for his receivers to get open. Manziel has become a more lethal weapon on offense because he has learned the value of patience in the pocket.  

He Is Better at Going Through His Reads

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    Along with staying in the pocket longer, Johnny Manziel has become more adept at going through his reads. He has one of the best offensive lines in the nation playing in front of him. 

    Manziel takes advantage of the time provided by the line, to go through all four of his reads and sometimes starting over again. In 2012 Manziel was much more likely to go through his first read and then run with the ball. 

    His willingness to go to his third and fourth option is evident in the receiving statistics. In 2012 the Aggies had five receivers with more than 25 receptions in 13 games. In 2013 he already has four receivers with more than 25 receptions in nine games. 

    It is not unusual to see Manziel stand in the pocket for six-plus seconds before throwing the ball. That never would have happened in 2012. 

Manziel Is Doing a Better Job of Protecting Himself

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    Despite suffering a shoulder injury during the Auburn game, Manziel has done a much better job protecting himself in 2013. He is much more likely to slide at the end of a run than he was in 2012. 

    The Aggie defense has struggled to get stops in 2013. There has been more pressure than ever on Manziel and the offense to make plays. 

    Manziel has done a great job of knowing when it is time to go for that extra yard, and when it is time to slide and play another down. 

    He understands his importance to the offense and the team and has adjusted his style of play in order to ensure he lasts the entire season.