“Johnny Football-Not So Good”
So much for the debut. So much for the hype. So much for the expectation.
It wasn’t very good, in fact it was awful, but that team has seen awful for a couple of years.
The 1st career start for Johnny Manziel with the CFL-Montreal Alouettes was pitiful. So was his team. So was their defense. So is what they have become.
The scoreboard, a (55-11) lopsided win by the Hamilton Ti-Cats only tells part of the story.
Manziel was intercepted on his first pass. Was picked off 4-times in the first half. It got worse as it went on.
The stat sheet will show just (11-20) passing for (104Y). He was picked four times, sacked twice, and flushed out of the pocket 10-other times.
He hadn’t played a game in 32-months, his last start being in late season of 2015 with the dreadful Cleveland Browns.
His two years of part-time play in the Browns showed a (2-6) record as a starter…7-TDs…7-interceptions…7-fumbles….23-sacks in 14-games.
Indeed a far cry from those Texas AM-Aggies days, you know (9,989) all purpose yards and 99-TDs in 2-seasons at College Station..
The former first round draft pick’s career has spiraled down from that point on. Wrist injury. Missed medical appointments. Missed team meetings.
Off season parties, allegations of drug binges, nite clubs et all. All while the Browns were trying to decide what to do with him. They dumped him just like he dumped on all the responsibilities that came with being a starting quarterback.
Drug rehab stints, counseling for bi-polar disorder, and utter dismay at what he allowed his career and life to become.
Developing QB’s in the NFL is tough enough, without trying to control all the distractions Johnny Manziel dragged with him.
No NFL offers, much like Colin Kaeperneck, but for different reasons.
He wound up in camp with the Hamilton Ti-Cats on a 2-year contract, played some in preseason, but not at all in weeks 1-thru-5. Dealt to the quarterback poor Alouettes, he becomes the starter on the most troubled team in the CFL.
Longtime NFL coach June Jones helped get him to the Ti-Cats. His former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, has him now in Montreal.
Montreal was once great, led by future Hall of Fame QB-Anthony Calvillo. But dreadful recently, with 16-losses in their last 17-games.
Manziel will be given time to grow into the game. He needs time to knock the rust off too.
The CFL is a very different game. The pressures are different. The field is different. The rules (3-down football) are different.
Into that came Manziel after just a week of practice in a new system.
He threw late, he threw into coverage, he threw on the run, he threw four picks with 2-others dropped. He made bad decisions, and he made some high school plays too. Started bad, got worse.
He surely didn’t look like Johnny Football we saw at Texas A&M. He didn’t look much like what he was in Cleveland, a struggling rookie.
He looked more like the ‘bum’ he allowed himself to become.
But football is always about talent and giving second chances to talent, so Manziel will get lots of time, the rest of this lost season in Montreal to learn on the job.
He’s saying all the right things, right now. Doing all the right things too, on and off the field.
Might he can be the next Doug Flutie in Canada? Maybe he winds up the next Akili Smith, another NFL washout who went north. Only time will tell.
Football can be humbling, and it surely is right now for this quarterback.
Johnny Football? Johnny Be Good? Johnny Was Bad. At least in his CFL-debut.
He’ll start against Ottawa this weekend.