Johnny Manzeil's coach thinks he should still be in the NFL.
When his career in the big league fizzled away, and it appeared he successfully wrestled with a number of personal issues— many of which were factors in his being ousted from the league— quarterback Johnny Manziel made his way to the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But, if you ask his new coach, he shouldn't be there.
Manziel hasn't been used in the regular season for the Tiger-Cats yet, but his coach June Jones believes the former first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns should be playing for a team in the NFL. He's simply too talented and he's figured out what he needs to do to get back.
Jones told ESPN.com, "I've been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game." It sounds like Jones intends to use Manziel in upcoming games, but he doesn't know how much considering he already has a starter. Despite that, Jones said, "He should be playing in the National Football League, and I believe he will when he gets through with us.''
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Manziel attended The Spring League but couldn't convince an NFL franchise to take a chance. As a result, he signed a two-year contract with the Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. And, while Manziel has been impressive in the preseason, he is playing second fiddle to Jeremiah Masoli who holds the starter spot with the Ti-Cats.
The good news is that none of Manziel's former off-the-field issues seem to be hanging around during his stay with Hamilton. Manziel was released by the Browns in March 2016 after numerous issues and a suspension under the NFL's substance abuse policy. It will be key for the former Heisman Trophy winner to prove those issues are well in the rearview mirror if he ever hopes to get back to the NFL one day.
As it stands right now, that could take a couple seasons. Jones said, "It'll take two years. They're (NFL executives, coaches) waiting to see that he's taken care of his off-the-field problems." He also knows that come to the end of those two years, he doesn't expect to see Manziel around the CFL noting that the QB has been "humble'' and is "growing up every day.''