Sportress of Blogitude

Johnny Manziel’s CFL coach says ‘he should be playing’ in NFL

Johnny Manziel’s conduct and approach since joining the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats has elicited praise from his head coach, June Jones, saying the former NFL quarterback is “growing up every day.”

Despite currently serving in a backup role for Hamilton, Jones believes a “humble” Manziel is destined for a grander stage.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game,” Jones told ESPN. “He should be playing in the National Football League and I believe he will when he gets through with us.”

Manziel has only saw the field in the preseason, an audition of sorts highlighted by a performance in the exhibition finale when he went 12-for-20 for 88 yards and a touchdown. That apparently was enough for Jones to say Manziel one day will be back in the NFL, although it may take some time.

“It’ll take two years,” he said. “They’re [NFL executives, coaches] waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems.”

Manziel, upon his official signing with the Tiger-Cats on a two-year deal in May, said his workouts earlier this year did draw significant interest from some NFL teams.

“I think it was close,” Manziel said. “I did reach out and talk to multiple teams and coaches I had met in my first couple years in the league.”

Manziel at the time was “hopeful” that the workouts would prove to NFL teams he’s ready to resurrect his career, but obviously nothing came to fruition. Although from the sound of it, at least to his coach, the CFL is merely a pit stop before Manziel — whose NFL career was derailed by self-inflicted setbacks — moves on to bigger and better things.