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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

Argonauts Hire Mike (Pinball) Clemons as General Manager

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pinball clemons

The Toronto Argonauts are bringing in one of the biggest names in CFL history to replace Jim Popp as their General Manager.

Mike ‘Pinball’ Clemons.

Clemons is a former star for the Argonauts on the field, a former head coach, and a former executive with the franchise, so he has a uniquely deep understanding of the team in a number of areas.

The Argos are in the midst of a terrible 2-12 season, following up a bad 4-14 record from last season, so a big change is long overdue and they feel that Clemons can help bring about the change that they need.

Argos president Bill Manning enlisted Clemons’ help last month in an advisory role and Clemons been vice chair of the team since 2009, saying that he turned down a front-office role with the Argos twice earlier this season before agreeing to the position after Saturday’s game.

“I didn’t need a job, I have a wonderful (charitable) foundation I love,” Clemons said, according to TSN.

“I make a living talking to people. I talk and they pay me. I’m not in this job because I need a job. I’ve got a bunch of jobs. I’m here because I love it and I care about our fan base. We want to make it better.”

Clemons knows that building a roster of the right players will be the key to his success.

“It’s not an I thing. If it’s me, this can’t be done,” Clemons said. “We’re going to build a strong, capable team around us. That’s only way we’re going to have any success.”

With the change, Clemons knows that addressing the quarterback position will be high on his priority list.

“We have to build a strong team, no question about that,” Clemons said. “But ultimately, you can’t disguise the importance of that position.”

Now, Clemons takes on the task of turning around a team that has been stuck in a rut and in need of change for the past few years.


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Alouettes’ Tony Washington Out for Season

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Tony Washington

The Montreal Alouettes will be without left tackle Tony Washington for the rest of the year due to a broken leg, according to TSN.

Washington, 33, suffered the injury during Montreal’s victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday and has undergone surgery for the injury.

Washington was injured when Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. fell on his leg.

Washington has played in 13 games for the Alouettes this season, his second season with the team.

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Stampeders Sign Marcus Ball

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Marcus Ball

The Calgary Stampeders have signed veteran linebacker Marcus Ball as they prepare to continue their Grey Cup championship defense in the upcoming CFL playoffs, according to TSN’s Matthew Scianitti.

Ball, who hasn’t played this season, signed a non-practice squad deal with the club, so this is not a practice squad deal.

Ball, 32, recorded 44 tackles and one interception over 10 games with the Toronto Argonauts last season and is a former CFL All-Star (2017) and a two-time Grey Cup champion with Toronto (2012, 2017).

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