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Tiger-Cats’ Johnny Manziel Puts Up Solid Performance In CFL Debut

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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.”

CFL

Stampeders’ Bo Levi Mitchell Ruled Out

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Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has been ruled out for Week 9’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday.

Mitchell was able to return to practice on Tuesday, and was able to make a number of throws at various distances and lengths, but the team ultimately decided that he was not ready for action just yet.

Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson had left the door open for Mitchell to dress against Winnipeg, but now he is not going to dress for the game either.

Mitchell, for his part, is remaining upbeat about his injured shoulder.

“It felt great” Mitchell said on Tuesday, according to TSN. “I didn’t really want to take the helmet off…overall, I felt pretty good.

“That’s Dave (Dickenson’s) decision. Dave and Huf (GM John Hufnagel) – let those guys decide.”

Mitchell will now set his sights on Week 10, where he could return as the team takes on the Montreal Alouettes at home.

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CFL

Roughriders Acquire Eskimos’ Kenny Stafford

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Kenny Stafford

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired American wide receiver Kenny Stafford in a trade from the Edmonton Eskimos in exchange for wide receiver Christion Jones, according to announcements on Monday.

Stafford, 29, has collected 30 receptions this season for 366 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this season.

Jones, a return specialist, has returned 111 punts for 1,441 yards and three touchdowns during his career.

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CFL

Redblacks Release Jeff Knox Jr.

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Jeff Knox Jr.

The Ottawa Redblacks have released veteran linebacker Jeff Knox Jr., according to an official team announcement on Monday.

Knox, 27, signed with Ottawa last off season and appeared in only one game for the Redblacks this season.

Knox has notched 231 tackles, three sacks and one interception in 51 career games.

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