There is help available for troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel. All he has to do is have the courage to ask for it.
It has been a less than stellar week for soon-to-be-ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Starting with a domestic dispute on Jan. 30 with former girlfriend Colleen Crowley that included a 911 call and a police helicopter search for Manziel, to the Browns making it clear that they are done with Manziel (and being ridiculously criticized in some quarters for the decision), to Dallas police opening a criminal investigation against Manziel, to his agent dropping him as a client, it has been a rough seven days for the former first-round draft selection.
One of the most troubling aspects of the week came from a story in The Dallas Morning News where Manziel’s father, Paul, revealed that the family tried to get Manziel to enter the Enterhealth Ranch addiction facility in Van Alstyne, Texas, but he would not stay. The family also attempted to have Manziel admitted to Carrollton Springs Hospital, a psychiatric and chemical dependency hospital in Carrollton, Texas, but his hospital staff allowed Manziel to leave.
While Manziel continues to insist that nothing is wrong and keeps turning away from his family, there are still plenty of people who want to help him, with the most recent being the NFL itself.
“We wish to give Johnny as much support as he is willing to receive, we can’t make anyone do anything,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told The Associated Press. “I’ve seen his father make a statement, reach out to the family to make sure the family knows the National Football League, the Cleveland Browns, the players association — everyone’s here to support you, but you have to embrace it.”
Vincent’s comments echoed those of NFL Commission Roger Goodell at his annual Super Bowl press conference.
“Every player, every coach, every executive, everyone in the league office has gone through extensive education to understand the issues and to understand what to look for, including bystander awareness, so that you can prevent these issues from happening,” Goodell said when asked about Manziel. “That is what we all want to see. We have other services, including counseling and other matters that are available to players if they are struggling with any issue.
“We have young people that may have issues that need to be addressed. We will always look to see how we can do that to try to help them make those adjustments, to try to help them deal with any issues they might have for their long-term safety. It is not just about playing in the NFL. These are young men who we respect, we admire, we are glad if they want to make this an NFL career, but they are young men first. They are young men that are going to lead long and healthy lives.”
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The Browns have done what they can, especially this past season as Mike Pettine, John DeFilippo and Kevin O’Connell did more than probably anyone outside of Manziel’s family to try and help Manziel fix his personal life. And they were repaid by Manziel continuing to be an embarrassment to the organization anytime he was away from the facility.
We’ve been writing for months now that Manziel’s issues go far beyond him being just an average quarterback at the NFL level and that he needs to find help as a person before he starts thinking about continuing his NFL career.
His current situation reminds us of a Buddhist quote: “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
There are plenty of people willing to help Manziel get his life in order.
He just needs to be ready to start walking on that path.