As it turns out, Johnny Manziel’s agent was absolutely correct. It’s “insane” that he was asked to start this quickly.
Friday night, Manziel got to make his CFL debut for the Montreal Alouettes. Not only that, but he got to do so against his former team — the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. To put it mildly, things didn’t go great. By the time Manziel was removed from the game in the fourth quarter, he had completed 11-of-20 passes for just 104 yards and zero touchdowns. Oh, and he also threw four interceptions… in the first half.
Now let’s back things up a bit here. Sure Manziel shouldn’t be starting this soon. After all, he has just four practices under his belt with the Alouettes. That’s simply not enough time. However, his new team is very bad. They were riding a three-game losing streak coming into Friday night’s game, sitting at 1-5 in the standings. The Tiger-Cats, his former team, were also riding a three-game losing streak while sitting at 2-4. The Alouettes were also near the bottom of the pack in many offensive categories. Perhaps they thought Manziel could give them a boost!
The Tiger-Cats won 50-11.
For what it’s worth, Manziel knows he can be better. And I mean, it’s going to be pretty difficult to get worse. Per ESPN’s Sam Kahn Jr., he broke it down like this:
“I felt I just made some uncharacteristic plays today, and you know, this game is humbling. This is a humbling experience. I’ve had this experience in the past before, and there’s two ways you either go about this moving forward. One, you can let this get you down and sulk … and harm you moving forward. The other way is to just take this on the chin like a man and never allow this taste to creep back in your mouth again and never let this happen again.”
Manziel also suggests that having more time before making his first start would’ve been nice — beneficial, even. But he didn’t lack confidence; that’s not the issue right now. It’s just that this isn’t as simple as maybe some were expecting it to be for him. At the end of the day, though, Manziel can take a lot from this. This is a teachable moment.
Here’s to hoping that, for Manziel’s sake, the Alouettes realize that.