Austin Seferian-Jenkins stopped drinking, went to rehab

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For Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the big number yesterday wasn’t 25, for the number of pounds he lost to get himself in shape for this season.

It was 129, as in days without alcohol, after he sought help for a problem following last year’s DUI arrest.

Seferian-Jenkins told Rich Cimimi of ESPN.com that he stopped drinking on Jan. 21 and attended rehab four days a week on an outpatient basis.

“Even since I stopped drinking, it’s been a transformation,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “It really has changed my life. I just try to win one day at a time. I’ve won 129 days and I’m going to continue to win however many more days. It’s been a blessing.”

The Jets took a chance on the 24-year-old tight end after the Bucs cut him following the arrest. They know he’ll miss two games because of the suspension he incurred there, but they think he’s worth a shot. And while it took him a few months to ask for help after the arrest, he’s walking that path now.

“Knowing you need help and you don’t go get it, that’s the worst thing,” he said. “I was scared to get help. I was scared and embarrassed to tell people I have a problem. . . .

“It’s not like I was dependent on it; I was dependent on self-medicating myself so I could deal with s—. Once I figured out what was going on, I got help. I went to the doctor and figured everything out. “I’ve been straight. It’s not like I’m f—–g dying. It’s not like I craved it, wake up in the morning and I need a drink. It was just like, I’m having a tough time, I’m dealing with something, it’s 6:30 p.m. and let’s crack one back.”

He gave credit to the Jets organization for not just taking a chance on him as a player, but for having his back off the field.

“I give a lot of credit to the Jets’ organization because they supported me when I told them I need to get help,” he said. “They were the first people to say, ‘We’re so proud of you.’ It wasn’t embarrassing. They were like, ‘This is great. This will be a great turning point in your life.’ . . .

“I want to be the guy the Jets brought in, the guy they see as a diamond in the rough, that they want to brush off and clean and show what he really can do. I’m brushing it away right now. I’m going to shine.”

And while he’s always had football talent (that’s the reason the Jets brought him in), he’s put himself in a better spot to showcase it now, an arrangement which should benefit both parties.

16 responses to “Austin Seferian-Jenkins stopped drinking, went to rehab

  1. Good for him. As someone who has had several family members who went through the same thing, I admire anyone who can conquer the bottle.

  2. Really good for him. A lot of people can’t do it. They can’t step out of themselves to see that the stuff is ruining them. Keep it up young man.

  3. Agreed bvolke. I’ve seen friends die from it and this guy has the right attitude by taking it a day at a time. It will be a never-ending struggle and I wish him the very best. Carpe Diem!

  4. Hard not to root for this guy. He kind of went from clueless to enlightened pretty darn quick. Early word in Jets OTAs is he is turning heads with his play so far.

  5. I give you credit young man. It is easy to create stigmas around alcohol abuse but an awful lot of studies suggest alcohol abuse doesn’t equal dependency. Solve the underlying issues and you solve the abuse. I pray for you in my own way. I know what you’re dealing with. Trust me.

  6. Wishing you all the best ASJ. As a die hard Bucs fan we had such high hopes for you but I guess timing is everything. Hope things work out for you.

  7. I’d quit drinking, except for the Chiefs. If they don’t make you want to crack one back, nothing will.

  8. It just sucks that he basically crapped on the Bucs because of his selfish behavior then goes elsewhere and cleans himself up. His selfishness cost the Bucs a draft pick and he goes on with his life after screwing an organization.

  9. Ok, it is a GREAT thing that he dealt with this issue—good on him.

    Buuuuut, let’s not pretend this takes care of all of his football related issues. He was a horrible teammate, he struggled to learn the playbook, mouthed off too much, showboated for small accomplishments, and didn’t play with intensity or dedication.

    Now, some could say that all of that is attributed to his drinking, but I doubt it.

    Good luck to him.

  10. I root for anyone trying to beat an addiction. When I quit smoking cigs, the first day was brutal. At the end of the day I thought, well, I did not have a smoke all day, maybe I could have just one. But that meant tomorrow I would be starting at day 1 again. After the second day, I thought, well, I’ve suffered 2 days now and I haven’t smoked what might have been 30 butts, maybe I could have just 1 as a reward, But again, I would be starting all over the next day. As the string of consecutive days went longer the desire to smoke became less and less. I became proud of the string and I never did have to start over. It has been 37 years now, and I am still counting.

    Good luck to anyone trying to quit. I hope this helps.

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