Johnny Manziel says he’s “blessed” to be a starting quarterback again after the Montreal Alouettes announced Tuesday he would start at quarterback Friday night against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“I feel very blessed to be in this position, to be back in a situation where I’m starting again,” Manziel told ESPN. “It’s good. It’s a quick turnaround. But at the same time, I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Coach Mike Sherman had hinted at the decision a day earlier after Manziel took many of the reps with the first team on Monday.
“We didn’t trade for Johnny to have him sit on the bench, so obviously, Johnny’s come over here to get reps and become the best player he can become, and we started that process today,” Sherman said after the practice.
Manziel played his college football at Texas A&M, where he was recruited by Sherman. A first-round pick by Cleveland in the 2014 NFL Draft, he hasn’t started a game since Dec. 27, 2015, at Kansas City.
The Alouettes acquired Manziel from the Tiger-Cats on July 23. He didn’t play last week in a 44-23 loss to Edmonton, but his presence was felt. Fans chanted that they wanted Manziel to replace Vernon Adams Jr., who was 15-of-28 passing for 217 yards.
The Montreal coaching staff better hope Manziel works out. Angered by the crowd’s call for Manziel, Adams implied he won’t give his all for Alouettes fans.
“Yes, it hurt me to hear that,” Adams told La Presse, via a TSN translation. “I have nothing more to say or to give to the fans of Montreal. Never again. Their behavior was very disrespectful. It was not like I was playing badly. I do not want them to ask me for anything, not even a small piece of equipment.”
—Field Level Media