Johnny Manziel has entered rehab, and sadly, at 22, it might be long overdue. But the latest installment of the Johnny Football saga is not necessary bad. In fact, it might actually be good.
“I think it’s a very positive sign, and I wish him a lot of luck with it,” former Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann said on Gio and Jones. “I hope it turns out well for him. From a player standpoint, based upon his comments at the end of the season and some of the things that transpired through the course of last year, I think he recognized that he had an issue and he had a problem and he’s trying to do something with it. And I think it’s the first step to becoming a professional.”
It’s also the first step in Manziel showing true accountability for his future.
“The ball is all in Johnny’s court,” Theismann said. “It always has been. I think what’s important to understand is that the resources of the Browns and the resources of the National Football League are always there to try and help the player. But unfortunately, you’re dealing with a lot of young men who really don’t understand the real world. They’ve come out of a very coddled environment, and the world to them is still one big party machine. And you find out that it’s a job that and your responsibility is not just to you. In Johnny’s case, the responsibility is to the owner who took a chance on him and the players that rely on him because of their livelihood and you start to understand those things. Hopefully this is the first step towards him being able to be a professional.
“I still think he faces an issue from a height standpoint,” Theismann continued. “I think it’s going to be a difficult road just from a pure football standpoint. But certainly from what I understand, the decision that he has made to try and seek help to square his life away, I think, is a very positive sign.”
While Manziel is certainly not beyond reproach for the manner in which he has conducted himself, it’s important to remember that he’s still only 22. He’s still very young. He’s still learning.
“All of us had to learn how to be a professional,” Theismann said. “You have to learn how to take care of your body, you have to learn to get the right rest, you have to learn how to study. There’s one thing to look at film; there’s another thing to study film. It only comes with getting older and being more mature. We thrust a lot of responsibility on very young men who, really – sociologically, physiologically, psychologically – have a tough time dealing with this world. This isn’t normal. Our world is far form normal, and there’s a lot of responsibility and you live your life under a microscope and a glass house. And today with social media, anything and everything you do becomes a public issue. So I think it’s a lot tougher to be a pro today than when I played.”