Friday, Johnny Manziel will face off against his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But more than that, the contest will mark his CFL debut.
And he couldn’t be happier, per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.
“It’s good to be back in here,” Manziel says. “I felt like the thing I’ve been missing, even over the course of this year and a couple years, is reps. And as you guys have seen the last couple days, a chance to get with the 1s and get some reps is what I feel like I really need and what I’ve talked to a lot of people about.”
Last month, the Tiger-Cats sent Manziel to the last-place Montreal Alouettes in a package for two first-round draft picks. Montreal has lost three games in a row. Before the trade, they ranked last in points scored and rushing yards. They were also third-worst in passing yards. But Manziel has to start somewhere.
“…I feel very blessed to be in this position, to be back in a situation where I’m starting again. It’s good. It’s a quick turnaround. But at the same time, I’m excited for the opportunity,” he continues.
The trade to Montreal also sees Manziel reuniting with the man who recruited him to Texas A&M, Mike Sherman. This might be the boost Johnny Football needs to take that all-important next step as he tries to return to the NFL one day. We can’t get too ahead of ourselves, though. Manziel needs to make an impact in the CFL. He needs to do what he couldn’t do for the Cleveland Browns, which is play competently at the quarterback position.
There’s a reason the Alouettes are 6.5-point underdogs on Friday night. Now it’s up to Manziel to prove his doubters wrong. He hasn’t earned the chance to do that for a pretty long time.