Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The right people helped Manziel

Much is being made of Johnny Manziel’s voluntary entrance into a treatment facility last week.

The Browns quarterback is properly being given credit for checking himself in for what is being referred to as undisclosed reasons. We still do not know whether it is alcohol related or drug related. Maybe both. 

The fact of the matter is Manziel apparently has come to the realization the manner in which he is leading his life is wrong and is willing to do something about it. Or has he?

We are led to believe the decision to enter rehab last week was his and his alone. Somehow, that is hard to believe. It is hard to believe a 22-year-old who enjoys leading the high life is willing to stop cold turkey.

You just don’t flip a switch and say I’m going to put out the spotlight, stop palling around with likes of Justin Bieber and Drake and all the show biz glitterati and head in a completely opposite direction.

I don’t know for certain, but this latest move has all the markings of a family/friends intervention. First clue: The move was announced in a statement released by a spokesman for the Manziel family, an attorney.

There is no question Manziel needs guidance and is just immature enough to be unable to provide it for himself. That’s where family and friends enter the picture. And it probably happened shortly after the end of the Browns season when he couldn’t wait to leave Cleveland and resume his partying in various parts of the country. 

After admitting to the media only days earlier that he knew he was heading in the wrong direction and needed to clean up his act, he was off again. And that just might have been the trigger for the intervention.

Can you say straw, camel and back in the same sentence? The guess here is that’s what Manziel’s family and circle of friends said and decided it was time to act before it was too late. The young man needed direction and it was obvious he wasn’t going to do anything about it.

I don’t buy the notion that Manziel did this all on his own. He might be savvy in many areas, but self-preservation is not one of them.

His social life was a wide-open book. He enjoyed living on planet TMZ. For someone whose popularity did not suffer nearly as much as his quarterbacking, he willingly put himself out there to be seen.

His parents and/or friends cared enough to sit him down (my theory), show him some tough love and set him straight. If he wanted to continue living the life of Johnny Football, the final chapter would not be pretty. If he was serious about becoming a successful professional football player, he needed to flip the switch. He needed to become the antithesis of his collegiate persona.

But first, he had to rid himself of all the demons that had consumed him as he rose to prominence in college. He had to eliminate the Johnny Football brand he helped create and totally embraced all the way to professional football.

Humility was definitely not one of his greatest characteristics. After seven quarters of quarterbacking the Browns in 2014, he was just Johnny Manziel, just another National Football League quarterback whose performance fell far short of his perceived persona. He was humbled and apparently did not know how to handle it.

The guess here is the decision was made for him by those who cared. He could have refused, continued to live in his own little bubble and go his own way. So he should receive at least part of the credit for acquiescing and checking himself into that treatment center.

Whatever the reason, he now seems to be headed in the right direction. In the end, the Browns, at least theoretically, should see a different Johnny Manziel, a more humbled version, in the minicamps and off-season workouts. If he is serious about becoming a successful pro quarterback, the change should be palpable.

It is one thing to be self-assured when quarterbacking in the NFL. It is quite another to be cocky. The Browns need the former because the latter quite clearly didn’t work for Manziel.

It would be a great redemptive type story if he comes into training camp clean next summer and shows fans and media he not only is a different person, but a different and more productive quarterback than the one we saw last season.


  1. All the other stuff aside, it would be nice if he would learn a complete playbook for the first time in his life.

  2. With a fresh start and more concentration on his chosen profession, anything is possible. A much simpler playbook than the one Kyle Shanahan had would be a good start. Easier nomenclature would help, too.

    Welcome to the site, Bussie.

    1. Nice start, but I have my doubts.

  3. The only way he can erase those doubts is to clean himself up, come into camp this summer and prove to fans like you and his teammates that he is a different young man. Anything other than that and your doubts will be confirmed.