Ticats VP Kent Austin on Manziel interview: ‘He’s gone through a lot, he’s come a long way’

Ticats vice-president of football operations Kent Austin says he’s watched Johnny Manziel’s interview with Good Morning America twice.

Manziel told the American TV show that he’s taking medication to deal with bipolar disorder and dealing with his mental issues are his top priority. Austin said he liked what he saw.

“It’s like anybody you talk about: until you get to know that individual, get to walk in his shoes, get to understand what makes him tick, those types of things, it’s hard to really form a proper judgement call if you will,” Austin said. “He’s gone through a lot, he’s come a long way. The interview was a good interview.”

But Austin said that the Ticats are looking for Manziel to show he’s ready for the mental and physical challenges of professional football.

“The most important thing we’ve always said here, is we’re looking for patterns of behaviour with our players. A consistent pattern of behaviour – with any player—is more indicative of somebody’s character and what matters to them,” Austin said. “So he’s had a good stretch here and he’s doing well, he’s working hard and doing all the right things right now.

Austin said he deals primarily with Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt.

I don’t talk to Johnny much directly. I talk more with Burkhardt whom I talk to quite a bit,” Austin said. “We talked yesterday, we’ll talk several times this week I’m sure. We have a very open and direct line of communication with each other.Most of our information is delivered to us from Erik.”

– with files from Steve Milton & Louis Butko of TSN1150

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1526 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

20 Comments on Ticats VP Kent Austin on Manziel interview: ‘He’s gone through a lot, he’s come a long way’

  1. Why is Austin bothering talking to the agent who is on record stating his client would be pursuing other available options if a Jan. 31st signing deadline was not met? (Rhetorical question)

  2. Maybe it’s rime for the Ti Cats to step back. If Manziel has these issues then perhaps trying to get him to sign a contract isn’t the right thing to do. Let ManIel come to them when he’s ready. If he ever is. 3

  3. Kent Popoff Austin is hoping for beeg trade offers for the Manzel? Da?

  4. No one knows where the negotiations stand between Hamilton and Johnny Manziel. Let the process unfold. We will get the story soon.

  5. Everybody’s doing their job and saying what they’ve gotta say, but Hamilton’s running this poker game, and they hold all the good cards. Cats aren’t falling for the con or the pressure, and it will only go down if it’s on their terms. It’s not like they’re buying a show room fresh Porsche; they’re looking at a taxicab with a few dings, and some hard miles on it. Burkhardt and Manziel better get used to that fact.

  6. Hard to say what he will do. Based on this interview my best guess is Manz is hoping for an NFL team that is from a progressive area, say California or NY for example, that will want the good PR feel good story of their back up QB over coming a genetic disorder. Very similar to the FIFA football player Jordan Morris who plays for Seattle Sounders and has genetic type diabetes. Jordan Takes insulin daily no different then whatever Manziel is taking daily. Mr. Morris is a top FIFA player and starts for the US Men’s Soccer team. I would give it to the 3rd NFL pre-season game and if no takers he will show up to Hamilton with his signed 150 k rookie contract. Either Ti-cats clear roster-cap space, trade him, or cut him. I would think Eric Burkhardt is hoping for the cut option because then his client is a free agent.

  7. OldBaldGuy // February 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm //

    Best o luck to all involved. I call him Johnny Goofball…and he has been that, but it comes down to which side of the grass you want to be on. At past velocity, Menziel was headed into the dirt. Talk is cheap, though and the last thing I would do is take any sort of credence in an agent’s public proclamation. Fix your brain or perish, Johnny. If you decide to come north, you better be on your game as lots of people would love to take a chunk out of a big ego.

    • yes because you all about respect …lets dig up your past at that age and see what comes light of day

  8. Manziel won’t touch the CFL until this latest attempt (to persuade NFL teams to hire him) is proven fruitless

    bottom line? playing for Hamilton is something he views as a pain-in-the-ass chore

    cherish Masoli….who actually wants to be there

    • Mazoli or any other player in cfl will not bring millions to cfl as will Manziel. Once some figure that out and the fact that he has admitted to taking meds for bipolar disorder what a story in North American sports when his comeback is successful. That would be one of the best stories in sporting world. So I for one say let’s see it happen. Ps great hope for people with bipolar disorder to seek medical attention and know they can succeed

  9. Manziel – irrespective of his bi-polar challenges for which he deserves respect for working on – will be the one of the most hated players by fellow CFL players who work their butts off and show respect for the game and the CFL and their opponents. Bi-polar does not excuse how he and his agent view the CFL. This is not related to his disorder.

    • Greg you have it all wrong he will be respected by all cfl players and will be there to help win and also seek help to improve in cfl. This is his first interview in 2 years and should he come to Canada you will be presently surprised on his thoughts and comments it was all about team at Texas A&M and the fact he was a legend he was in it for the team and as an Alumni still is supportive of the college.

  10. Can anyone name one QB in the history of the game that had Bipolar disorder that was any good?

    very doubtful

    • And you are the NFL/CFL’s QB psychiatriist for all QBs? Terry Bradshaw has admitted to having severe depression and in FACT there are quite a few players that have battled mental illness from severe depression to being bi-polar and other mental disorders.

  11. I fear that if the Manziel saga does not end soon, I will be the one needing medication!

  12. iggy P…
    Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Hall-of-Famer and current co-host of FOX NFL Sunday, Terry Bradshaw spends his downtime as a speaker expressing to his audiences what is means to achieve success both mentally and physically. No one can deny that Bradshaw is THE guy to teach lessons of mental perseverance as he was diagnosed with clinical depression back in 1999. He has been on medication ever since to balance the serotonin in his brain, which helps him immensely in leading an upbeat life.

    The medication doesn’t do all the work, however, as Bradshaw still needs to remind himself every day that sharing his feelings with his support system is part of his ongoing treatment. He describes the end of his football career in one way as his escape from the stigma surrounding mental illness in the league; allowing him to disclose his pre-game anxieties and substance (alcohol) abuse struggles attempting to self-medicate.

  13. greg… Yes you are entitled to your opinion but lets ask somebody who was in the locker room…

    What’s not exactly known is what Manziel was like in the locker room during his two seasons in Cleveland. Although there were reports that Manziel was a lot to handle and showed up drunk to practice at least once, former Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan says he didn’t see any of that.

    Shanahan, who now serves as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, says that Manziel was a hard worker in 2014, the only season that the two spent together in Cleveland.

    “I was with Johnny for eight months, and Johnny is a very good guy,” Shanahan recently told ESPN.com. “Johnny worked as hard for me as anybody. Everything I asked him to do, he did. He was very humble. He did not think he had all the answers. He knew he had to work.”

  14. greg… Mr. Burkhardt was simply doing his job getting the most he can for his client. By asking for equal consideration of Mr. Manziels 2 years in service in pro football Mr. Burkhardt is saying the The CFL and NFL are Peers-Equals. He is saying two years in one league is no different then 2 years in the other. That is not disrespect but serious Aretha Franklin RESPECT. Burkhardt also never threw out a figure. It was everyone else who said 500K. He just said what current ticats QB’s are making with out success on the field. People assumed he was talking about Corralos but last season was 6-12 and any and all QB’s played role in that. Burkhardt could have very well meant Masoli’s 250K base. The CFL and NFL years in service are fungible no different then playing in the top FIFA football leagues in England and Germany are equal in value. That is respect baby. So Burkhardt could very well mean he wants his client to be paid the same as the 250K James Franklin is getting for 2 years of sitting on the bench in the CFL. Manziel played in 14 games in 2 years of pro football service in a neighboring peer league. Manz also won 2 more games then Frianlin and set a single game club franchise for his equal but not better club in a different country. No different then if you were comparing playing for Manchester United or Bayern Munchen. Two years pro ball is two years pro ball. Note that neither Theisman nor Moon were made to start at the bottom in the NFL after years of service in the CFL. Much respect for the neighboring pro league in the same sport.

  15. Laval. Articulated well and I agree

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