Johnny Manziel explains CFL debacle: ‘Test from football gods’

It wasn’t how Johnny Manziel envisioned his return would go. His four-interception disaster in his CFL debut with the Montreal Alouettes last Friday, however, also made the former Texas A&M star and Heisman Trophy winner realize how much he needed football, because if he’ll stick with it after a performance like that, he’s not giving up anytime soon.

“[It] tests your drive. It tests your will,” he said on the Barstool Sports podcast “Comeback SZN.”

“It makes you think if you’re doing the right thing for a split second … everybody was really worried, because it couldn’t have gone any worse than it did. I sat there and chalked it up to the football gods testing me a little bit personally to see how much I really want this and how much I want to get in and work to make it happen.

“It’s humbling to come back after a few years off and that’s your first game and that’s the result you get. … But sometimes on the field, it’s just not your day. And that’s what I feel it truly was. That’s no excuse for me to sit there and let it just ruin anything that I’ve been doing for the last two years to get back to this point. It’s not your day. You got punched in the mouth, you have to keep moving forward.”

Manziel had initially signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but was stuck to the bench behind Jeremiah Masoli. His start Friday came against his old team in what turned into a 50-11 shellacking. However, Manziel is doing his best to put the loss behind him with another game coming up on Saturday against the Ottawa Redblacks. It probably can’t go any worse, though Ottawa is 4-3 and in first place in the Eastern Division. Montreal is last at 1-6.

But after not playing in a game since 2015, Manziel was bound to experience significant rust.

“I’m trying my best to walk into the building with a smile on my face and keep plugging through this. It’s not easy,” he admitted. “It’s not easy walking back in that building and watching the film. But you do it. You learn from the good. You learn from the bad. This thing will take a while to get back on track.”

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