For the record I am not a fan of Johnny Manziel, the person. His off-field actions speak loud and clear as to why, but I thought to be fair I should critique him as a football player.
Following his first CFL start with Montreal I would give him an overall grade of D. He needs to stay after school and study a lot harder if he is going to use his actions to back up his words. Here are some of those words. Now before I get people all tied up in knots, I do understand how pro athletes love to always stay positive.
On Thursday he told reporters who asked about him being pulled if he struggled and he said “I’ve been told I was brought here to be the guy, so I don’t know if there even is a leash. I feel that I’m extremely prepared.”
Well, four interceptions, 11 of 20 for 104 yards and he only made it through three quarters of football. I would suggest more prep work is needed.
Als Head Coach Mike Sherman praised Manziel, calling him one of those players who elevates the game of others around him.
“I thought we practiced better when he was out there Monday and Tuesday,” said Sherman. “It wasn’t until the Tuesday practice that he performed at a high level that I felt comfortable to make that statement.”
The Alouettes were horrid all game in all facets so there needs to be quite a bit more elevation it seems. Just above sea level would be an improvement.
Friday, the day of the game against Hamilton, Manziel said he felt no pressure.
“I’m hoping to come in and provide above average, solid quarterback play and give us something consistent week in and week out, “he said.” I just want to come in and be a solid starter, eliminate turnovers and hopefully make some plays when needed.”
Above average solid quarterbacking-as in finding the huddle and then standing behind your centre? Maybe he meant standing on the right bench. OK, he did that. As for the turnovers, well four is a nice round number I suppose. He made a few plays with his feet but so did the guy across from him, Jeremiah Masoli. Of course, the TSN talking heads never mention Masoli and his scrambling ability.
Many people felt it was too soon for him to start but Sherman told reporters with Manziel’s intelligence and talent, the time was right.
“What defence does John know better than any other defence in the league? He played against Hamilton every day in practice.”
He was familiar enough with his former team that he tossed the ball to them four times. As for Coach Sherman, rookie coaches know the difference between practice and game action.
Two respected CFL quarterbacks on the TSN panel said it was too soon and they were right.
He was not even close to being ready and despite his inflated opinion of himself (one which is shared by many TSN sports types) Johnny Football still needs plenty of practice.
Muhammed Ali once said it’s not braggin’ if you can do it.
Johnny still has a long way to go to show he can do it.