While we’re waiting for meaningful NFL football to start, some of us (raises hand) occasionally take a look at the Canadian Football League. Three downs, giant end zones, the rouge, it’s all so different! Did you know that if a team commits multiple penalties on the same play, both fouls get enforced?
NFL fans might have been curious to see the first CFL start of Heisman Trophy winner and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who was traded from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the now 1-6 Montreal Alouettes. Manziel hadn’t started since December 27th, 2015 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and hadn’t thrown a touchdown pass since the opening drive against the Seattle Seahawks that preceding week.
Unfortunately for Johnny Football, even against vastly inferior competition north of the border, his attempt to revive his career couldn’t have gone much worse. He threw four interceptions in the 1st half, one shy of going “Full Nathan Peterman,” and Hamilton thrashed Manziel and the Alouettes 50-11. Manziel finished the game 11/20 for 104 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs, and 2 rushes for 4 yards.
The second pick really doesn’t seem to be his fault and is more bad luck than anything, but the rest? They don’t look good. Quarterback play appropriate for a 1-6 squad, and that offensive line isn’t helping matters.
It wasn’t that long ago that a few articles were discussing whether or not the Seahawks should/would take a flyer on Manziel to compete for the backup spot to Russell Wilson, whom he was often compared to during and coming out of college.
Oh, and for two Seahawks connections within this article, Manziel was replaced by the previously benched Vernon Adams Jr, who’d received a mini-camp invite from Seattle in 2016 but was not signed. Also, Montreal’s leading rusher was Tyrell Sutton, who had 9 carries for 61 yards. Sutton competed for a roster spot on the 2012 Seahawks but was ultimately released, and has spent the last five years in Montreal.
Maybe things will be better for Manziel in his next start... unless head coach Mike Sherman (yes... Mike Sherman) decides to go back to Adams as the starter.