WANTED: People to catch passes from Heisman-winning QB

As part of my obsession with Aggie football, I like to chart different aspects of the A&M offense and look at things that don't show up in the Sunday boxscore. So I thought I would share some information I've gathered.

Below is an illustration of almost every single pass that was thrown by Johnny in his record-setting freshman season. (I say "almost" because I stop charting once the game gets out of hand and 2nd- and 3rd-team offenses/defenses are on the field, causing the approach by both teams to become much different).


Breaking these numbers down into categories...

  • 54% of Johnny's targets (and 55% of the completions) went to the right side of the field
  • 28% of the targets (and 27% of the completions) to the left side of the field
  • just 18% over the middle, both for targets and completions
  • 22% of his passes were behind the line of scrimmage
  • 36% were between the LOS and 10 yards down field
  • 21% between 10-20 yards
  • 21% deeper than 20 yards

Overall, we see a nice mixture of passes across the entire field, a credit to Johnny's passing abilities and Kliff and Sumlin's playcalling.

Returning Receivers

If we look at the numbers just for those players that return for Year 2 of the Johnny Manziel experience, the chart looks like this


You can click on the names below to see the targets/catches for the main returning receivers

Mike Evans, Malcome Kennedy, Derel Walker, Sabian Holmes, Nehemiah Hicks

These targets are much less diverse, and show just how little returning experience we have returning at the receiver position. Over half of the 224 returning targets (121) were to Mike Evans alone! That's why you see so much concentration on the right side of the field, with Evans lining up almost exclusively to Johnny's right.

Non-returning Receivers

Isolating all of the targets and catches for receivers who have graduated or left the team for various reasons, the distribution looks like this...


You can see 231 targets that are unaccounted for at this point, thanks in large part to the graduation of Ryan Swope, EZ Nwachukwu and Kenric McNeal and the transfer of Thomas Johnson (again, you can click on the names for individual charts).

That's a whole lot of work on the left side of the field and over the middle to be done by guys who either had minor roles last year or were not on campus, which should be encouraging for emerging receivers like Malcome Kennedy and Derel Walker and young studs like Ricky Seals-Jones, JaQuay Williams, Sebastian Larue and Laquivionte Gonzalez.

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