Hamilton Tiger-Cat’s backup quarterback Johnny Manziel had an impressive debut for the CFL on Friday, in a losing effort to the Toronto Argonauts.
Johnny Manziel was 9-of-12 passing for 80 yards, and rushed twice for 10 yards, looking poised and polished in the pocket as he made his long-awaited, but highly anticipated debut.
“I felt like I was able to get in there and handle the situation well, get some completions and get the guys some balls,” Manziel said, according to TSN. “I really wasn’t nervous going into it, I was just kind of going out and letting the ball rip.
“Right now we’re still in pre-season so we’ll get a little bit more tailor-made for the team and defense and what they do and scheme against them. I think that’ll help us moving forward.”
Manziel took the opportunity, speaking with the media, to air his complaining about a 22-yard intentional ground penalty.
“That’s the worst call of the century,” Manziel said. “My whole life I’ve been taught to throw it right at the stick that’s marking the down.
“I thought I got it there, he (official) told me I was about a yard short. That’s the first time I’ve heard of that, that’s new to me.”
CFL rules will take some getting used to, as Manziel was jogging to the locker-room at halftime despite one final play needing to be run.
“I’m still learning some things up here,” Manziel said. “There’s going to be some of those growing pains.”
“Obviously you can’t turn the ball over like that and ever have a chance to win a game,” Hamilton coach June Jones said. “But he (Manziel) did some good things.
“He’s got a good game presence about him. He knew what was going on . . . he wasn’t rattled, he wasn’t flustered. Obviously he scrambled around and made a couple of plays. I think he’s going to get better and better every time he plays.”
Argos players sure tried to get under Manziel’s skin, but Manziel isn’t going to back down.
“Listen, I’m not here to be pushed over,” Manziel said. “You can come at me because my name is in the papers, because my name is on TV . . . but I’m not backing down from anybody.
“We’re playing Toronto, obviously there’s a long-standing rivalry here. They’re Grey Cup champs, they jumped on us early. They had every right to talk . . . but this isn’t the last time I’ll be sitting here after a game against them so we’ll welcome them with open arms once the season comes.”
Johnny Manziel to Start for Montreal Alouettes on Friday
Johnny Manziel will finally get his chance in the CFL as he will start for the Montreal Alouettes on Friday as they take on his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman made the announcement on Tuesday.
Manziel spoke about his first season in the CFL, last Friday.
“I’ve tempered my expectations to not reach too high,” Manziel said (h/t ESPN). “I want to come in and I want to play solid football. That’s what I want to do. I realize there are going to be some growing pains to get there, because it is a process. I have been away from the game a little bit. I’m excited to get some reps, and I know I’m going to be putting in the time that I need to off the field to expedite that process.”
Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris Eyes Big Performance
Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris is looking to have a big game on Friday night against the Toronto Argonauts.
Harris is looking for a second straight victory over Toronto on Friday, and to follow up a big win with a wedding social on Saturday night at the stadium for he and fiancee Carina Fiorentino.
“The biggest thing is getting the win (Friday) and Saturday will just continue the celebrations,” Harris said, according to CFL.ca. “It’s just great to have it all in the same place.”
Harris will head into the game with plenty of momentum, having surpassed the 100 yard rushing mark in 3 straight games.
“I just want to win the game, that’s the biggest thing.” Harris, who leads the league with 610 rushing yards this season, said.
Harris had a big game last week in the victory over Toronto, rushing for 177 yards, which was more than Toronto’s entire team output of 165 yards.
Toronto head coach Marc Trestman is looking for better quarterback play and better pass protection in this week’s tilt.
“We’ve got to get better play and more efficient play out of our quarterback,” Trestman said. “That would be for anybody who’s playing. It starts there at the quarterback position.
“I think James [Franklin] has shown himself to be very resilient. He’s going through a growing process now in a new system with new verbiage and really his first time playing a lot of football.”
Franklin, the Toronto signal caller, was frustrated with the lack of offensive, but more so that Harris had more rushing yards than Toronto’s total offense could muster.
“It’s frustrating to think, ‘OK, I wish we would have put up more yards,’ ” he said. “I think personally I’m not like, ‘Oh no, it bothers me that he had more rushing yards than we had total yards.’
“But I mean we definitely need to do a better job of that, help our defence out because they made a lot of plays and they put us in really good positions.”
Tiger-Cats Trade Johnny Manziel To Montreal
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have traded quarterback Johnny Manziel to the Montreal Alouettes in a move that will reunite Manziel with the former Texas A&M coach who recruited him to the school, Mike Sherman.
In the deal, Manziel, offensive tackle Tony Washington and offensive lineman Landon Rice were sent to Montreal in exchange for defensive end Jamaal Westerman, wide receiver Chris Williams and first-round picks in 2020 and 2022.
“We have acquired an exceptional quarterback with undeniable talent,” Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed said in a official statement. “With his great mobility, his athletic abilities and his instinct we believe that he will have a positive impact on our offence.”
“This is a move both Kavis Reed and I felt we needed to make at this time,” Sherman said.
“Neither one of us believes in the status quo and felt we needed to shake things up. Johnny is someone we believe can elevate one of the most important positions on our team.
“I look forward to reuniting with Johnny again and working with him.”
Manziel signed a two-year contract with the Tiger-Cats in May and now heads to Montreal who saw starting quarterback Drew Willy leave Saturday’s 25-8 loss to the Calgary Stampeders with a hand injury.
Montreal is also without Jeff Mathews for four to six weeks because of a foot injury.
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