Johnny Manziel didn’t play in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ season opener against Calgary, but coach June Jones says the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner should be playing in the NFL.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game, Jones told ESPN.com. He should be playing in the National Football League, and I believe he will when he gets through with us.
The Cleveland Browns released Manziel in March 2016, two years after the former Texas A&M star was the No. 22 pick of the NFL draft. Manziel’s career with the Browns was marred by off-the-field issues that ultimately led to two stints in rehab for alcohol and drugs.
Jones made the comments during an interview about Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Jones helped Gilbert rebuild his confidence in college after Gilbert transferred from Texas to Southern Methodist University, where Jones coached from 2008 to 2014.
While Jones acknowledged Manziel doesn’t lack for confidence at all, he admits there is work to be done. But he expects Manziel to one day compete in the NFL, just like Gilbert — the leading candidate to back up 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton — is now.
We have a huge project, Jones said of Manziel. We’re going to get that done, too.
Why they’re here: This team was 9-9 after losing a home game to the Blue Jays on April 20, and to some Yankees fans (at least some vocal ones on Twitter), the sky was falling. Aaron Boone didn’t know what he was doing. Giancarlo Stanton was a bum who couldn’t handle New York pressure. Brian Cashman made all the wrong moves. Since that loss to Toronto, though, they’ve been nearly unbeatable. They’re 19-3 since that game, with more walk-off wins (four) than losses (three). They have two winning streaks of at least eight games in the past 22 games, which seems like a typo but isn’t. They’re really damn good.
Why they’re here: J.D. Martinez has been pretty much exactly what the Red Sox hoped for so far this season; he’s posted a 1.037 OPS to go with 11 homers, 34 RBIs and a .346 batting average. You know who’s been even better, though? Mookie Betts, batting mostly in the leadoff spot, has 13 homers, eight stolen bases, 27 RBIs, 43 runs scored, 16 doubles, a .362 average and a 1.205 OPS. Boston’s lineup is legit. In any other division, the Sox would enter play Tuesday with at least a two-and-a-half-game lead. Instead, they’re a half-game behind the Yankees in the AL East. That division race is going to be brutal all season.