Like so many players when they leave the game, former Titans running back Eddie George struggled with his own identity.
Without a schedule to follow or workouts to attend or games to play or coaches to instruct his movements, there was an emptiness.
While he’s on more solid footing now, George freely admits dealing with depression, and hopes he can help others through his experiences.
“It never got to those depths where I wanted to end my life, but I can certainty understand how some guys get to that point,’’ George told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “There wasn’t that instant success on the football field, where you worked hard all week and you have a victory and a great game on Sunday. There were some things I had to go through that weren’t necessarily helping me and my family out.
“I can certainly see where guys who don’t have the proper guidance or right mindset can take that turn for the worst.”
George said coping is still a “daily battle,” and will share his story on Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports” tonight. He said the strain of stepping away from the football lifestyle endangered his relationships and family, something he wants to help others with.
“The way my career ended had an impact on me the first few years because I had no idea what to do next. It wasn’t really until about three to four years ago when I really started to turn around and become more responsible about where I was and not being in this funk, in this depression and so forth,’’ George said. “I was fighting demons and trying to get a peace of mind that did damage to me and my family, my wife. … Hanging out and chasing [women] and all the wrong things.
“All the things that served me as a player didn’t serve me as a man who’s 35, 36, 37 years old trying to redefine himself. Something had to change in me.”
That’s a common refrain for many players, but the good news is that George seems to have found the path back to a better place now.