Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones said Thursday that Johnny Manziel has no chance to overtake starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli before the team's Week 1 game against the Calgary Stampeders.
Jones told reporters Masoli will "absolutely" be the starter June 16 and cut off the next question about whether there would be any scenario Manziel could take the job, firmly stating "No."
Hamilton opens the preseason Friday against the Toronto Argonauts and plays its final warm-up contest next Saturday when it travels to face the Montreal Alouettes.
Manziel, who signed with the Ti-Cats earlier this month, is set to battle Vernon Adams and Dane Evans for the backup job behind Masoli.
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The 25-year-old former Cleveland Browns QB downplayed any pressure as he makes his return to professional football after a two-year hiatus.
"Just go take a snap and have some fun," Manziel said. "There's no pressure, there's no 'go out and throw 10 touchdown passes in one drive.' It's just ball."
It's hard to know what to expect from the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Not only has he been away from the sport for awhile, but he struggled during his time in the NFL with a 74.4 passer rating, and he also dealt with numerous off-field problems before the Browns released him in March 2016.
Manziel's playmaking ability has never been in question, though. If he showcases a renewed dedication to football and Masoli struggles, Jones' stance may become less hard-line as the 2018 season rolls on.