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Oregon QB Marcus Mariota: Johnny Manziel plays 'backyard football'

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07:00 AM ET 02.22 | Johnny Football is spectacular, but know this: Physically, he's no Marcus Mariota. "We had Johnny and Marcus both committed," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich says, "and we ended up with the taller, faster, better-looking guy." Don't overreact, Aggie Nation -- it's just a harmless joke. The Manziel comparison, meanwhile, is no joke to Mariota. "Backyard football," Mariota says in describing the style of the player who broke Cam Newton's SEC single-season yardage record. "For a lot of us, it's how we were introduced to the game -- just going out and making plays. I'd like to do that. It would be fun. But it would be outside of my calling here."

Sporting News

Johnny Manziel, Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images Johnny Manziel, Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
February 22, 2013  07:16 AM ET

Backhanded compliment? No, it's just the way the sports hacks chose to write it up.

February 22, 2013  08:02 AM ET

Pretty damn good backyard football player.

February 22, 2013  08:07 AM ET

It's funny since the entire Oregon offense is backyard football - but I guess that's his 'calling' there.

February 22, 2013  08:27 AM ET

What will bring Johnny down is hubris.

I don't know. It sounded good this morning.

February 22, 2013  08:42 AM ET

I sincerely hope that the only reason this young man is in the news this year is for his performance on the football field.

February 22, 2013  08:49 AM ET

"We could all score more points and break records if we got to do whatever we wanted. That's not real football, though."

February 22, 2013  09:07 AM ET

Isn't the backyard where most of us learned to play the game anyway?

February 22, 2013  09:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I sincerely hope that the only reason this young man is in the news this year is for his performance on the football field.

Johnny Football wll be under the microscope for the rest of his CFB career. He's already been criticized for his on-line coursework.

February 22, 2013  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Isn't the backyard where most of us learned to play the game anyway?

You had a backyard? Lucky!

February 22, 2013  09:15 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Isn't the backyard where most of us learned to play the game anyway?

Yes, and in the parks, though sneaking out onto the unoccupied HS football field was always the best.

February 22, 2013  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

You had a backyard? Lucky!

We lived in a hole in the street!

February 22, 2013  09:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Pretty damn good backyard football player.

Hia, DC! Darned good to see you. Belated condolences to you in regards to your folks. All else pales to insignificance when family matters come to the fore.

February 22, 2013  09:23 AM ET

Fairly little known fact- Mariota committed to Oregon before he was even a starter in HS. He only played his senior year at Saint Louis HS. How is that for talent evaluation?

February 22, 2013  09:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

We lived in a hole in the street!

Eh? Complete with manhole cover for a roof?

February 22, 2013  09:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Eh? Complete with manhole cover for a roof?

Due to this living arrangement, they survived a tornado unharmed. The family members unselfish acts to aid those stricken gained notice in the community. An opportunity arose for the family to start a business. It prospered, and their circumstances changed for the better. Though their first-ever-for-the-community earth home was a curiosity, the family's reputation only grew. The younger generation excelled in learning and matriculated at the University of Alabama.

February 22, 2013  09:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

It's funny since the entire Oregon offense is backyard football - but I guess that's his 'calling' there.

"Oregon offense is backyard football"??? I like that comparison!!! Oregon is a fun team to watch!!!

February 22, 2013  09:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Fairly little known fact- Mariota committed to Oregon before he was even a starter in HS. He only played his senior year at Saint Louis HS. How is that for talent evaluation?

jada, thanks the info, I didn't know that!!

February 22, 2013  09:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Due to this living arrangement, they survived a tornado unharmed. The family members unselfish acts to aid those stricken gained notice in the community. An opportunity arose for the family to start a business. It prospered, and their circumstances changed for the better. Though their first-ever-for-the-community earth home was a curiosity, the family's reputation only grew. The younger generation excelled in learning and matriculated at the University of Alabama.

Of course. Elementary, my dear Watson.

February 22, 2013  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

"We could all score more points and break records if we got to do whatever we wanted. That's not real football, though."

LMFAO, what kind of comment is this??? Please enlighten us and tell us, "what is real football"??? :-)

 
February 22, 2013  09:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

"what is real football"?

Attributed to General Neyland is the notion that real football is defensive football, or, as he is alleged to have said, "If you do not allow the other team to score, you only need score once to win the game."

I'm glad that I matriculated when Condredge Holloway was QB and Air Volunteers was fresh and new.

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