Although Johnny Manziel will not start Saturday’s pre-season game in Montreal — that will be Bryant Moniz — he’ll get plenty of time under centre, head coach June Jones said.
Thursday was the final day of official training camp for the Tiger-Cats and Manziel reflected on his progress so far.
For one thing, he’s close to finding the right place to live during the season, but hasn’t finalized. For another, he can feel the grasp closer to the reach.
“The first couple days I thought it was overwhelming,” Manziel said, conceding that he had wondered then if he might not get up to speed with the CFL game as quickly as he’d anticipated.
“Now I’m sitting here two weeks later with what I feel is a firm understanding of the concepts we’re trying to do. That’s obviously refreshing.
“It’s similar to things I’ve done in the past so it’s just getting back into building habits around what we do here, not what I’ve been doing in the past. And letting some of those old things go.”
Despite what a legion of followers, particularly south of the border, might feel, Manziel is not nearly ready to challenge starter Jeremiah Masoli for No. 1 status.
He himself recognizes he hasn’t seen what regular-season CFL defences can really look like, and still won’t have even after his 20-or-so snaps in Montreal.
“You can’t come up here, and play one game and expect that you’ve seen every coverage, that you’ve seen everything,” he said. “It’s going to take a while. There are some things I’m going to see in this game that are different than what Toronto ran, that are different than what our defence runs (in practice), from a scheme aspect.”
Still, Manziel has demonstrated his sizeable football intellect, adjusting more quickly to some of the quirky challenges of three-down football than many other American newcomers do. And when he’s been befuddled, he’s usually run himself out of trouble and into an extended play.
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