Former CFL and NFL personnel man Bill Polian: ‘Johnny will set the CFL on fire’

Pro Football Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian believes Johnny Manziel can be much more than a spark for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“For those that don’t know, the Canadian game is vastly different – wider field, longer field, three downs, much more wide open. Johnny will set the league on fire – if he decides to apply himself and do the homework that he needs to do. And if he keeps himself clean off the field – he will set the league on fire,” Polian said on ESPN.

The 75-year-old spent time in the CFL as a scout (Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers) before going on to earn the general manager position with three NFL teams, the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts. Polian has Grey Cup and Super Bowl titles on his extensive resume along with being a six-time NFL Executive of the Year. He feels the Ticats bench boss is an ideal fit to help Manziel reinvigorate his career.

“Johnny has exactly the right coach, June Jones who has done wonders with quarterbacks at the collegiate level, NFL, all over the place. So he’ll be fine in Canada,” Polian said.

Polian stated success in the CFL doesn’t necessarily translate to the NFL.

“When Doug Flutie came back to Buffalo and San Diego he did a great job because he was a veteran and able to meld his game,” Polian said.

“Does he come back with the same work ethic that it takes to succeed? And the same off-field attitude that it took him to succeed in Canada? He can’t coast in professional football, that’s the bottom line.”

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