I watched Johnny Manziel’s first CFL start for the Montreal Alouettes and before everyone overreacts let me make something very clear. Johnny Football is going to be just fine.
Now listen, I know, yes, he threw four interceptions and yes his team lost by 39 points, but hear me out.
He’s only had four practices with this team, he’s still adjusting to his new teammates, plus his first start is against his old teammates. That’s as rough of a situation as you’ll find. In addition, Montreal’s defense is horrendous, but, to their credit, they knew fans were there to see Johnny, so they did their best to get off the field as quickly as possible..you gotta find the positives in the negatives.
Speaking of finding positives in negatives, let;s assess Johnny’s first half regular season game in almost three years. He finished 11-20 for 104 yards, but technically only four balls actually hit the ground, so really he’s 16-20 and your favorite quarterback doesn’t average an 80% completion percentage.
Johnny’s first throw of the game was a pick, a bad pick in fact, but, he ran up, owned up to his mistake, and made a touchdown-preventing tackle. That’s accountability and the type of mentality I want my starting quarterback to have.
His second pick was just unfortunate; after dodging and weaving two would-be sacks, Johnny dumped it off to his running back, who bobbled, then dropped the ball right into a defenders’ hands.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 4, 2018
Johnny’s third interception? He under-threw a streaking defender on third down (the final down in CFL), proving to be a gutsy quarterback who’s confident and not afraid to go for the home run. Then, as the defender turned upfield with the ball, Johnny made a tackle that Sean Taylor could only look down from heaven and smile at.
That closing speed though pic.twitter.com/bkZHPAm4TI
— Comeback SZN (@ComebackSZNshow) August 4, 2018
On his fourth interception, Manziel just chucked it to the heavens, desperate for a score, only for it to fall into the hands of a defender. Is there a positive in this? Yes, the faster he’s off the field, the more time he gets to study the playbook.
So yes, on surface level, Johnny’s first start was bad, but what the Capital J’s won’t tell you is the positives that I’ve now laid out for you. Johnny’s first start in the CFL was a loss, but, as far as Heisman winning quarterbacks go, it could be worse. He could be virgin.