Johnny Manziel, the disgraced former NFL quarterback made his return to professional football this weekend with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner did not start but appeared in 23 plays during the Tiger-Cats 36-18 preseason loss to rival Toronto Friday night.
Manziel completed 9 of his 12 passes, good for 80 yards. After the game Manziel spoke of the learning curve he is facing due to the different rules in the CFL, such as 12 players lining up on both sides. The wider and longer playing field and only having three downs to work with as opposed to four.
All in all and despite the loss, Manziel looked fine. One of his strengths of course are his legs and he used his feet to prolong plays and find open receivers in his debut. Although Manziel remains the backup to former Oregon Ducks standout Jeremiah Masoli, fans were excited to see what Manziel could mean to Hamilton.
June Jones who was once the head coach of the San Diego Chargers of the NFL and the University of Hawaii took over the Tiger-Cats this offseason. He recently said that “there is no scenario Johnny Manziel starts Week1.”
Playing for Jones who is known for coaching up quarterbacks, could be a blessing for Manziel.
Manziel showed signs of maturity in his post-game press conference.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats begin regular season play on Saturday June 16th against the Calgary Stampeders.