Ricky Williams: Johnny Manziel should take time away from football

Courtesy of USA Today Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Williams wants Johnny Manziel to take a page out of his own playbook for life. He says Manziel should “get some help” and take time away from the game of football.

The phenomenally gifted running back knows a thing or two about off-field troubles. There were a few times during his NFL career in which Williams clearly didn’t have his head in the game, and he believes the only way Manziel is going to get his head right is by removing himself from the sport.

Williams once retired in 2004 after failing a drug test. After his return, repeated positive drug tests caused Williams to miss the entire 2006 NFL season, but he credited his time away from the game as the best thing that ever happened to his career.

Speaking with TMZ, Williams reminisced about his time away from the NFL and how it recharged his batteries for a productive career:

“When I went to go play in Canada, it got my mind straight, I found my love for football again, I came back and I had another five years to my career,” he said.

Most who have watched Manziel’s off-field troubles spiral out of control can see how his personal life has affected his ability to focus on the game of football.

He has repeatedly shot himself in the foot during his two-year tenure with the Cleveland Browns. Despite the organization throwing its support fully behind Manziel on multiple occasions after off-field issues cropped up, the quarterback continuously has made decisions that — on face value — have been like spitting in the face of that staunch support.

After his latest incident in which he allegedly assaulted ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley and was chased by police in a helicopter, the Browns finally removed their support from the embattled quarterback. At this time, he’s being investigated by both the Dallas Police Department and the NFL over the event and could be facing at least two years in prison and a fine, if he’s convicted of aggravated assault.

Paul Manziel, Johnny’s father, is worried his son won’t make it to see his 24th birthday if he does not get help. Another NFL player who has had to overcome personal issues is Brandon Marshall, and he has also advocated time away from the game for Manziel to get his head right.

When there is this much smoke surrounding a person’s life, there can be no doubt about the blazing inferno that exists. Manziel clearly needs to get some help, and he needs more than a couple month’s stay at a rehab facility to get his life in order.