Alouettes’ Sherman felt Manziel was ‘nervous’ with ‘eyes of the world’ watching CFL debut

Montreal Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman could sense a difference in the way Johnny Manziel approached his first CFL start.

“I think he was nervous, the eyes of the world were upon him. You had half the world wanted to see him succeed and the other half wanted to see him fail. He didn’t want to disappoint anybody and I think he put too much pressure on himself and therefore didn’t play the game as loosely as he normally would’ve played. It wasn’t just him, we were terrible,” Sherman said on CBS Sports Radio.

“I give him a pass on his first one because the supporting cast didn’t support him and it was his first time, I think he was pressing a little bit too hard. And I talked to him at the end of the game, he said ‘I’m fine, it’s humbling, but I’m fine. It’s just what I needed.'”

Manziel threw a career-high four interceptions as the Alouettes were blown out by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 50-11.

“We have to make sure the decision making is right and we’re not taking too high-risk throws,” Sherman said.

Despite the poor showing, Sherman defended the decision to start Manziel after just four practices and less than two weeks since he was acquired from the Ticats in a blockbuster trade.

“He was in a Canadian scheme, it wasn’t like he was totally unaware of the waggle and the motion. He was very familiar with the mechanics of Canadian football,” Sherman said about spending training camp and the start of the season in Hamilton.

The poor performance won’t help Manziel’s stated goal of wanting to get back and play in the NFL.

“I think the most important focus for him right now to achieve any goal is to be a successful CFL quarterback. And if he’s focusing on that aspect, getting back into the National Football League, he’s probably not going to be as good as he should be here,” Sherman said.

“He just needs to focus on the best he can be in the CFL and then see how the cards play out from there.”

Sherman does feel there are quality signal callers in the CFL.

“There are some really good quarterbacks up here that can’t play in the National Football League because of height and different attributes. So there’s a lot of great quarterbacks in the CFL, he’s not there yet, he’s trying to get there. Hopefully, he will,” Sherman said of Manziel.

Ticats head coach June Jones had high praise for Manziel last December.

“I think [Manziel] would be the best player to ever play up here,” Jones told the CFL’s in-house podcast The Waggle. “He can throw it and he can run it like nobody has ever been able to do.”

“That was quite a comment by June,” Sherman said.

But the way the Als season is going, Montreal appears to need a player of that calibre to have any shot at success in 2018.


29 Comments on Alouettes’ Sherman felt Manziel was ‘nervous’ with ‘eyes of the world’ watching CFL debut

  1. Manziel doesn’t strike me as the nervous type. He thrives when all the eyes are on him.
    This is just an excuse by AL’s coaches/management for putting him into such a difficult position.

    • Johnny Involuntarily Retired // August 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm //

      No, it’s just an excuse for a guy who has had months to prepare for playing int he league and still threw balls that were nowhere near his receivers. He’s a bust and has absolutely no future as a pro QB. But go ahead and make excuses for the 25 year old loser. It’s very fashionable right now and will continue to be for a few more weeks.

      • Hardly a fair comment with only 4 days to prepare. I don’t think you can judge anything by what we saw last week or even this week for that matter. I thought he showed signs of improvising through his mobility and his ability to get out of the pocket. The potential is there however, I wonder if any amount of talent is enough to make Montreal respectable.

        • I agree with Ben, 2 wasn’t set up for success last week. You don’t here him whining though-working hard to lead. I sincerely wish the best for him and the Alouettes.

  2. Wait till Saturday..he gonna be destroyed again ! Even if some of you think he is good he will not and cannot have success on this Montreal team …imo of course !

  3. Blue rules // August 8, 2018 at 3:44 pm //

    Sherman isn’t that bright is he. ” Half the world wanted to see him to succeed and the other half wanted to see him fail. He didn’t want to disappoint anybody”…. really? I for one was NOT disappointed, well maybe a little, I would’ve liked to see Johnny Madmazel finish the game!

  4. Edward Leslie // August 8, 2018 at 3:54 pm //

    I think the fans in Montreal understood Manziel’s dilemma. They didn’t boo him off the field as the score got more and more out of reach. The fans cheered his every completion.
    He’s had a couple of weeks to learn the playbook, and he’s got to play now. We’ll see if he makes strides. I think he will
    For starters, get Adarius Bowman in there.
    Sherman should also play this William Stanback more, he’s looked very good when he has played.
    The Alouettes should also utilize big Fullback/ Tight End Patrick Lavoie more. He’s money on those short and intermediate plays. Just ask Trevor Harris and Henry Burris.

    The Alouettes are going nowhere unless Manziel can get them there. Attendance, viewership and interest are on the upswing. The only thing needed now is a little patience.

    • Well said Edward Leslie. 31 is a wrecking ball. I would love to see Montreal bring in a returner and see 31 back on cover teams. He led the team with Special Teams tackles before he started to return.

  5. Bombsquad // August 8, 2018 at 3:55 pm //

    “I think [Manziel] would be the best player to ever play up here,” Jones told the CFL’s in-house podcast The Waggle. “He can throw it and he can run it like nobody has ever been able to do.”

    Really June? You musn’t have watched much CFL football before you came up here. Maybe JJ should ask to see some old CFL footage from the good old days, there he can be treated to QB’s that could throw & run, such as Damon Allen, Doug Flutie, Tracy Ham, Kerry Joseph etc etc. Manziel has a long, long way to go. He has to keep working hard and hopefully things will get much clearer for Johnny, which i hope happens, it’ll be good for him and the CFL and its fans.

  6. Eddiefelson // August 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm //

    Evidently half the world equals 150,000….because thats how many extra eyes were watching

  7. If the eyes of the world were on him last week, even more will be Saturday to see if he’s got anything left in the tank.

  8. Best CFL Fan // August 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm //

    “But the way the Als season is going, Montreal appears to need a player of that calibre to have any shot at success in 2018.”

    Als need a lot more than that. There’s 24 starters. JM wasn’t on the field when Hamilton took the opening kickoff 85 yards in 5 plays thru the melted butter. Or for the blocked kick TD. This focus on JM is is distracting everyone from the fact that this one of the worst team’s ever. Team that some analysts picked to go 0-18.

    And what hope can there be when the owner insists this teams competitive. And Sherman thinks Stubler is doing a great job on defence. Only the worst defence in the league in every category.

    Look over there. It’s Johnny

  9. CowtownDave // August 8, 2018 at 4:22 pm //

    There will hopefully come a point in time when this guy has to actually earn all this media coverage.

  10. In Doug Flutie’s 1st game ,he sucked.

    • TheLastArgoFan // August 8, 2018 at 5:02 pm //


    • What a dumb, misinformed comment. Please stop embarrassing yourself by regurgitating such factually incorrect rhetoric.

      Doug Flutie certainly did not “suck” in his CFL debut.

      “Doug Flutie joined the Lions in 1990 and made his on-field debut on July 13, a game that saw BC tie the Stampeders 38-38. He finished 21-of-37 passing for 271 yards, 2 interceptions and 2 TD passes. He threw a last-second game-tying “Hail Mary” touchdown pass to send the game into overtime.”

      Flutie’s CFL debut was infinitely better than John Manziel’s CFL debut.

  11. Unfortunately, we may never know the true talent and potential of JM. Playing on a poorly coached team with substandard talent may ruin him for any future that he might have had in this league. You can’t expect him to come in and make Montreal a competitive team – no QB can do that and yet that is what he will be judged on. Maybe if he can improve this year and get some experience with a new coach and GM in Montreal next year the world may look like a different place.

  12. “Half wanted him to succeed and half wanted him to fail, and he didn’t want to disappoint anyone.”

    Well, he certainly didn’t disappoint half of them.

  13. Bring back our Als // August 8, 2018 at 6:10 pm //

    Ben is bang on. Sherman not only has no CFL experience but most of his staff have none also or have had so so success. His assistant is his son. I keep looking at 3down nation and hoping to see that the Als have cleaned house again. It really can’t get worse

  14. Manziel played poorly his first season with the Browns and played pretty well the second but shot himself in the foot with partying.

  15. They can improve his game by practicing all week to throw it in the stands when he’s pressured or about to be sacked. Just get that right for game 2.

  16. Evil Empire // August 8, 2018 at 8:40 pm //

    I’m sure he was nervous. But, it was hardly the eyes of the world. Only 400K in the US, in fact. And whatever the number was in Canada. But, that’s what pro athletes sign up for. The “ world “ watches them every time they play. It’s hardly a situation unique to him.

    I’m glad it’s Wednesday. Tomorrow we can actually start talking about football again. There are too many unnecessary off field distractions lately.

  17. Read 460K in the USA watched the ESPN telecast of the game – a record for the network for a regular season game. Throw in Canada + overseas networks and we see a few pro football fans wanted to see JOHNNY DO GOOD. He did bad as the entire team did. Got 11 more to go and I bet we will all see JOHNNY DO GOOD!!

  18. OMG…people are so dastardly stupid…duh? Of course the guy was nervous…any pro athlete would be if this was in fact the crossroads for him…whether he likes the spotlight or not. Guy is human you know.

  19. Tiger man // August 9, 2018 at 7:31 am //

    “I think [Manziel] would be the best player to ever play up here,” Jones told the CFL’s in-house podcast The Waggle. “He can throw it and he can run it like nobody has ever been able to do.”

    “That was quite a comment by June,” Sherman said.

    And June was smart enough to keep Manziel on the sidelines because he didn’t think Johnny was ready. It proved to be the right thing to do by the player and the team…

    Sherman’s lack of respect for the team and the league caused them ALL embarrassment on North American TV.

    It was well deserved.

    Unfortunately, Johnny Manziel and his teammates had to pay the price too….

  20. Edward Leslie // August 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm //

    I think Manziel will get better and do well.
    I’m not so sure about Head Coach Mike Sherman though. The most noteworthy thing he’s done since coming to Canada is look like a bumbling fool when he got all tangled up in his headset cord on national TV.
    I just don’t get the sense that this guy gets Canadian football or cares about it.

    With so many good possible hires as Head Coach, trust Kavis Reed to screw things up AGAIN.

    I would be shocked if he is still Montreal’s head coach in 2019. The only thing that needs to be determined is whether he will quit or get fired.

    • Tiger man // August 10, 2018 at 8:28 am //

      Edward, when I heard Sherman was hired by the Als, I was curious and a little excited that, with his background in the NFL, he would bring some smarts to this team.

      After all, a number of American coaches have been hired from the NFL and NCAA, Hamilton need not look any further than June Jones and Jerry Glanville for proof of that.

      However, Sherman’s decisions since arriving there, have been questionable at times, like putting in Manziel last game.

      The fact that their head coach had expressed NO regrets after the game shows to me that his ego is more important than the player and the team.

      It’s looking like, yet another bad decision by Kavis Reed.

      Look out, there will be more to come.

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