Lions long snapper Jimmy Landes hasn’t spoken to his childhood friend in months, and to be honest, isn’t quite sure where he is.
But he still wants to help Johnny Manziel get his life back in order.
Landes told Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com that it bothers him every time Manziel’s name comes up in the news, as he remembers a much different person than the one he sees. The two grew up together in Tyler, Texas, and played on the same little league basetball team.
“When I got drafted, I told my parents, I get this money. I told [my brother] John this. I said, ‘I get my signing bonus, I want to go find Johnny. Get a plane ticket and go find him. Get with him,’” the Lions’ sixth-round pick said. “I’d bring J.B. [Moss] with me. Just to be with him and pick apart his mind, like why are you doing this? Why are you doing that?
“Just bring him back down, you know, to the good old Johnny that we all know.”
Moss was another hometown friend who played baseball at Texas A&M, and was with Landes the last time they spoke to Manziel. But the guy Landes sees this offseason, partying and spiraling downward after being released by the Browns, concerns him deeply.
“I haven’t given up faith in Johnny,” Landes said. “I know he’s got a lot to learn and he’s growing up right now. I haven’t given up on him like a lot of people have. I grew up with him. I know the real Johnny. . . .
“I’d do anything for Johnny. If he gave me a call and wanted me to fly up and take care of him, I’d be on a plane in a heartbeat. I’d do anything to help him out right now.”
Manziel doesn’t seem to have problem finding company, but he seemingly hasn’t found anyone to reach him at this point in his life. But if he wants help, Landes is probably among the many willing to provide it.