Former Alabama Quarterback Steadman Shealy On Johnny Manziel

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By Ashley Thompson

Steadman Shealy played quarterback at Alabama from 1977 to 1980... winning two national championships with the team, under legendary Coach Bear Bryant. So, he knows what it takes to win.

"This needs to be the year we run the table. Of course, it's going to start Saturday."

Former Alabama quarterback Steadman S. Shealy says Alabama's second game of the year against Texas A&M can make or break their season. He says this game will be the Tide's toughest, facing dual-threat quarterback Johnny Manziel.

"He can run the ball as a quarterback, like an option-type run and then the worst thing is that he improvises," Shealy explains. "If something isn't there, he can move around and then let the receivers do the same thing. That's really where they hurt us last year."

In 2012, Texas A&M pulled off a surprising upset, defeating Alabama 29-24. Shealy says Alabama's defense will need to step it up to stop the Aggie's powerful offense.

"They'll run 10, 12, 14 plays in a drive and they wear your defense down. You can see by this whether that it's who can manage the fourth quarter, who's the freshest, is going to be the team that's going to win this game."

Like Manziel, Shealy was a versatile quarterback. During his college football career, Alabama used the wishbone formation, a triple-option offense. The formation is not as popular today and Shealy says there are other differences between the football of his day and college football now.

"It was just hard nose, tough football," he says. "Whereas today, your offense is more complex. It takes a lot more people to work in a drive. The no-huddle, the up-tempo, that's just college football today."

And although college football has evolved, Shealy says a good defense will always be essential.

"You're always going to play a couple of teams that have a dual-threat quarterback and the great thing about our defense is that we were always able to control the line of scrimmage and so we pretty well took care of that. That's the key in the game for Alabama."

Shealy is now an attorney and with the recent allegations of former SEC players accepting rewards and money, he says he believes that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

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