The adventurous tale of Johnny Manziel continues, as the Cleveland quarterback has entered a rehabilitation treatment center to –according to his publicist, Denise Michaels – become “a better family member, friend and teammate.”
For those close to the situation, this revelation is not at all surprising.
“This was something that I had watched unfold all season long,”Cleveland Plain Dealer Browns reporter Mary Kay Cabot, who broke the story, said on Tiki and Tierney. “I felt like every time I was writing a Johnny story, it had something to do with being on a swan or spraying some champagne around a club, or doing something other than what you would expect a really dedicated, committed, young quarterback to be doing. So I think this is good.”
Indeed, Manziel showed a lack of commitment and preparation throughout his rookie season, not to mention an affinity for nightlife. He admitted at the end of the season that he needed to take his job much more seriously and felt the offseason was the right time to address this issue.
“I think this is a really good step for Johnny,” Cabot said. “However, as we all know, until we are ready to change, you really can’t force someone to change. So my hope – my sincere hope – is that Johnny is ready to take this step and he’s ready to try to do something about these issues. You don’t necessarily always have to be ready before you walk through the door of a rehab facility. Sometimes you can get ready when you are there. You have to break through that denial, which he has been in denial. I’ve watched the denial all season long. I do think, though, that it’s a great step – and if there’s any chance of him being successful in the NFL, I think this was something he really needed to do.”
Cabot does not believe that Manziel’s choice to enter rehab was entirely his own – that the Browns, and probably his family, convinced him to take this course of action.
“I’m sure that there were plenty of people involved in helping him get to the point where he needed to do this,” she said. “I don’t think this is something that most 22-year-old kids are going to say: ‘Hey, you know what? I think I’m going to check myself into rehab.’ Generally, it doesn’t go that way. So I do firmly believe that the people around him that care about him and love him encouraged him to do this. And again, sometimes you don’t have the willingness when you walk through the door, but you can get the willingness once you’re there. And so, if he didn’t have it day one, maybe he’ll have it (eventually).
“Now, this can’t be a Josh Gordon check-myself-into-rehab-for-two-weeks kind of thing,” Cabot continued. “I actually believe that Johnny needs a longer-term situation. I don’t even think, in my opinion, 30 days would do it. And again, not to take someone’s complete and total inventory here, but I have watched him every single day since he showed up on the Browns’ doorstep last April, and I think he’s in a place where a short-term (stay) – I don’t see that as doing it for him. I thin he is so firmly and deeply in denial that he’s going to need a longer time to sort through some things.”
While one might assume that alcohol is Manziel’s vice – and his only vice – it might go deeper than that. A photo surfaced last year of Manziel rolling up a bill in a bathroom at a bar.
“The Browns were really rattled by that,” Cabot said. “It really, really disturbed them – and it would disturb anyone. It had to disturb his parents. We’re assuming that this is a rehab facility where they’re going to be dealing with substance issues, and I don’t know that for sure yet. But I’m just basing that on everything I’ve seen since April, that it would probably be addressing a number of different things.”