Johnny Manziel's hotly anticipated CFL debut did not disappoint.
The former Browns QB was involved in a couple of controversial moments whilst mostly impressing as a passer in his first appearance for the Hamilton Tiger Cats, Friday.
The Tiger Cats lost the preseason matchup with the Toronto Argonauts 36-18, but Manziel's 9-12 completions and 80 yards were a decent start north of the border.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner had a few hiccups on the night, but seemed fairly pleased with the start he's made on the field in his return to professional football.
“I felt like I was able to get in there and handle the situation well, get some completions and get the guys some balls,” Manziel said via the Toronto Sun.
One incident the 25-year-old was not happy about though, came as he attempted to help an opposing player up from the bottom of a big pile up.
Maybe unsurprisingly, Manziel was on the wrong end of some supposedly nasty trash talk from the player that he chose not to name.
And, though he doesn't mind it, he made it very clear that he's here to play ball not to engage in any verbals.
“I was trying to help a guy up out of the pile and he wanted to say some foul stuff,” Manziel said.
“Listen, I’m not here to be pushed over. You can come at me because my name is in the papers or on TV, so you can come at me. I’m not backing down. I’m here for a reason. I’m here to play ball and I’m not going to be treated like s—. It is what it is.”
The former Texas A&M star was also clearly irritated by what he thought was an atrocious intentional grounding call that ended one of his drives and admitted that he still has a lot to learn about life in the CFL.
“That was the worst call of the century,” Manziel said. “My whole life I have been taught to throw it right at the stick that marks the down. I thought I got it there. He [the official] told me I was about a yard short. That’s the first time I have heard that. That’s new to me.
“I thought when he was coming to talk to me he was going to tell me that. You know . . . I’m still learning a lot of things up here. I’m jogging into the locker room at halftime with zeros on the clock, and we have another play. There are going to be some of those growing pains. Coach [June] Jones told me that when I got here. But we’ll take them in stride.”
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