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CFL coach: Johnny Manziel “should be playing” in the NFL

Darin Gantt

Even though Johnny Manziel hasn’t taken a snap in the CFL yet, his coach thinks the former first-rounder will end up back in the NFL.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats coach June Jones said he’s been impressed with the former Heisman Trophy winner/current backup to Jeremiah Masoli.

“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 said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “He should be playing in the National Football League and I believe he will when he gets through with us.”

Jones said he’s been encouraged by the performance he’s seen, but also the professionalism Manziel displayed. And while it might take time, he thinks Manziel will eventually be able to convince decision-makers he can be trusted.

“It’ll take two years,” Jones said. “They’re [NFL executives, coaches] waiting to see that he’s taken care of his off-the-field problems. . . .

“He’s humble. He’s growing up every day.”

As Jones noted, the thing Manziel needs to convince people will only come with time. After his stint in Cleveland ended for reasons that had little to nothing to do with football, Manziel will have to prove himself trustworthy for longer than a few week or months.