Johnny Manziel has heard it all before.
The brutal jokes. The loaded questions. The unending doubts. Such has been the norm for the man — once the love-him-or-hate-him, devil-may-care darling of the football world — who has spent the past half-decade careening toward rock bottom personally and professionally.
But as he sat down Tuesday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in front of reporters for the first time since becoming the newest member of the AAF’s Memphis Express, Manziel said he is prepared to put the lessons he’s learned to good use.
“I guess I’ve just changed the way I used to live life,” the former Heisman winner said. “I got immersed and lost in a bunch of things that only gave me temporary happiness. (Now), I started focusing on things I really care about: family, football, trying to better my life and have a routine that makes things work, and not one that makes things break like they did a couple years ago.”
Most recently, Manziel was released by the Montreal Alouettes and banned from the Canadian Football League after he reportedly failed to show up for a mandatory counseling session. Less than three weeks later, the AAF (which touts itself as a “league of opportunity”) scooped him up and put him to work for the Express.
Coach Mike Singletary said he is keeping his expectations for Manziel in check.
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SOURCE: Jason Munz, Memphis Commercial Appeal