Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 6)

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He has taken his share of the headlines this year in the CFL, but once again Johnny Manziel became the biggest story in the league.

This time it was because he took a legitimate step towards becoming a CFL starter and truly beginning his path that likely leads to the NFL.

In the off-season, he was the story for the league as the rumours began a year ago when he expressed interest in the league but the league refused to accept a contract for the controversial QB.

They needed more proof that he wasn’t going to have the same issues he did in the NFL and he proved it enough to convince the league that he could add value to the league.

Throughout the off-season, he was a constant in talk about the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats having his rights and looking to sign him.

His disagreements with the way the league did business caused concern but eventually, he signed a two-year deal with Hamilton officially becoming a CFL quarterback.

There was only one problem with the situation, Manziel had to compete with Jeremiah Masoli who had already been learning for a number of years and was ready to take his spot as a starter.

He took his chance and took over putting in an impressive start to the season and earning some early consideration for MOP.

That left Manziel sitting on the sidelines just trying to learn a new game but not getting much time.

It was pretty obvious that he was not going to make his debut with Hamilton this year and that plan to find his way back to the NFL was going to take a little longer than most thought.

Then came the bombshell after Week 6 as the Ti-Cats announced that they had traded Manziel to the Montreal Alouettes.

They received Jamaal Westermann and Chris Williams and got rid of the biggest name of the offseason.

It was an interesting decision especially right after Masoli had his worst game of the season only throwing for 184 yards.

That might be the biggest reason for the move though as this was a big win for both quarterbacks and both teams.

For Hamilton, there was always going to be a controversy as Masoli was going to have bad games and when he did the inevitable question of whether or not Manziel was going to start would dominate.

He had a bad game in Week 6 and the whispers were starting, if he had another one there would likely have been major discussions around the league.

For a team looking to win the east that is a distraction, they don’t need with outside pressure and potential pressure from ownership to see the big name.

There has never been a time where a QB that has to look over his shoulder has performed his best throughout a full season.

Masoli no longer has to look over his shoulder as this is his team and the Ti-Cats made sure he knew that by trading Manziel and handing the reigns over the Masoli for the foreseeable future.football-sidebar

For Montreal, this is a trade that they needed even if it doesn’t help them make the playoffs this year.

There is still a chance that they can turn things around but after a 1-4 start, the turnaround needs to start right now.

Manziel is not a guaranteed superstar in the CFL as he has never played the game and didn’t get a chance in Hamilton because of his lack of experience.

Still, his skills when he was great can translate well to the CFL with his athleticism and ability to make things up on the go.

That ability can make him a star but the biggest question has always been whether or not he really wants to play in the CFL.

If he fully commits and can make that adjustment to the new rules he could be a star in the making.

If that happens the Alouettes may have just found the first legitimate quarterback since Anthony Calvillo retired.

That could help them make the move up the standings and compete for a playoff spot and to try to help the process along the Als also added Adarius Bowman to give Manziel a big and experienced target.

The trade has solved a lot of problems but it will also give Manziel a real shot at starting in the CFL.

He will look to establish himself quickly under a familiar coach but this is also the biggest and the best chance he will get.

Both the Als and Manziel need this trade to work out and if it does they will be part of a great turnaround while if it doesn’t the comeback could be over before it began.

 

Fourth Down

No Show for T.O.

Taking the same path as Manziel has become a new thing in the CFL with former NFL stars looking to find their way back through the league to the North. Last wee Dexter McCluster was signed by the Argonauts while Terrell Owens activated the 10-day window. Owens became the big story as he was looking to play in the CFL telling the Edmonton Eskimos such and activating the window that would force the Esks to sign him or release his rights. If he was signed he would immediately become the oldest player in the CLF as the man going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was going to be a big risk. After thinking about the potential the Eskimos made their decision and released him leaving him free for other teams but none have taken the chance.

The End of the Big Receiver

There was only ever one receiver like Nik Lewis as nobody in the league before and surely nobody after could really compare. He was one of the biggest personalities in the league but that isn’t necessarily what set him apart from everyone else. It was more about his size than anything else as at first look nobody would have called him a receiving threat. Yet in that big body was a lot of athleticism with an ability to leap over defenders and make his way to the end zone. He may have never been the quickest but he will go down as one of the best and the countdown to his induction into the Hall of Fame began this week after he signed a one-year deal with Calgary and retired where he started.

World Junior Champs

Canada has never really been considered major powers in the football world but in the small and obscure area of international football, they have been successful. It may not make a lot of headlines and for some, it is a complete unknown but international football has pitted the best talent in each country against each other for years. It is not only about North American either as World Championships have been won by teams like Japan and Germany is a constant competitor. Canada has been a power in these competitions and the future looks bright as their latest title was in the World Juniors. Canada’s team made up of the best U19 players in the country beat host Mexico 13-7 in the final to win their second straight World Junior title.

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