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Dylan Donahue feels fortunate to have a second chance.
At football. And Sam Huff Jersey , most of all, at life.
The New York Jets linebacker knew he needed to make some major changes this offseason after making a decision that nearly cost him everything.
The 25-year-old Donahue was arrested and charged with drunken driving early on Feb. 26 after police say he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey and collided with a jitney bus, injuring four people.
”I’m a firm believer in God,” Donahue said after practice Tuesday. ”I was born and raised Christian and I believe that He saved me and the other people that were involved.”
Donahue ”definitely” considered the incident a wake-up call, and soon after checked himself into a substance-abuse treatment facility in Jacksonville, Florida, after his second DUI arrest in less than a year. Donahue, a fifth-round pick last year out of West Georgia, had another DUI arrest in his hometown of Billings, Montana, on May 9, 2017 – 10 days after he was drafted by the Jets.
”That was a major factor in why I decided to go down for treatment,” he said.
Donahue spent 30 days at an in-patient facility, working to become sober.
”It was very enlightening,” he said. ”I went through a lot. … I think it was a life-changing experience. So, it was very awakening and life-changing this offseason.”
He fully embraced the idea of going to rehab Jeremy Kerley Jersey , something he hadn’t previously considered.
”It wasn’t necessarily a scary experience,” Donahue said. ”I was honestly kind of excited because I was ready to make some life changes.”
Donahue also sought out former Jets teammate Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who spoke openly last season about his recovery from alcohol abuse. The tight end, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, detailed his own steps to Donahue and gave him hope that he, too, could make drastic positive changes.
”He actually helped a lot,” Donahue said. ”Seeing someone else do it, especially someone on the same team as you, that definitely built my confidence.”
Donahue says he has cut out alcohol from his life, and has seen noticeable changes.
”My mind feels a lot clearer,” he said. ”I’m able to remember things a lot better and think a lot clearer. Physically, too. I’ve gained a little bit of weight and last year, that was kind of a problem for me, keeping on the weight. So, there’s a lot of benefits.”
He declined to discuss how much of a problem alcohol was for him. He also chose to not talk about details of the car accidents since they’re legal matters. The second-year linebacker could also face discipline by the NFL as part of its personal conduct policy.
When Donahue went for treatment Juuse Saros Jersey , the Jets publicly stood by him and said he had a support system with the team when he returned. That was a relief to Donahue, who was uncertain as to how the Jets would deal with the situation.
”I think anyone worries when something like that happens,” he said, ”so, yeah, I was definitely worried.”
He acknowledged that he was surprised by how many people stood by him during that time.
”In situations like that, you really find out who your friends are,” he said. ”It was a definite wakeup call.”
Donahue is back with his teammates on the practice field, looking to become a contributor on New York’s defense.
He played in only four games last season after tearing a ligament in his right elbow while blocking on a punt return late in overtime against Jacksonville on Oct. 1. He had season-ending surgery and said the elbow is now healthy.
”He’s got his head down,” coach Todd Bowles said. ”He’s working. He’s working on some personal things, obviously, that he told you guys (about). He’s just working hard every day trying to get the system down and we’ll see what comes of it when everything comes to a head.”
Donahue knows he needs to re-establish trust with his family, friends, teammates and coaches – and it will take time. His father, Mitch, played for Denver and San Francisco during a four-year NFL career Womens Mitchell Trubisky Jersey , so he knows he needs to make the most of this opportunity.
Both on and off the field.
”It’s definitely more motivation,” Donahue said. ”This has been my dream since I watched my Dad play in the NFL since I was born, so to get another chance at it means the world to me.”
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Dan Quinn briefly struggled with his plan to play quarterback Matt Ryan for only one series in the Atlanta Falcons‘ preseason opener at the New York Jets.
That one series was so flawed the coach was tempted to give Ryan and the starters an opportunity for atonement.
Quinn stuck with his plan, but the bad series set the pace for a poor performance by the offense in last week’s 17-0 loss to the Jets .
On Monday, the focus shifted to a fresh start for Ryan and the offense in Friday night’s second preseason game against Kansas City.
“That was obviously not what we wanted for the first time out,” Ryan said after Monday’s practice. “Too many mistakes, too many procedural penalties to put us behind the chains. There were some good things too from the young guys but a lot for us to clean up. But that’s what this time of year is about. It’s about seeing where you’re at and improving as we move forward.”
The Falcons were called for two penalties on Ryan’s only possession. The first penalty, an illegal shift, came on Ryan’s 3-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu. He also completed a pass to rookie Calvin Ridley for a loss of 2 yards.
It was such a marred and brief time on the field that Quinn said “there was definitely a side of me” that wanted to reconsider the one-series plan for Ryan.
Ultimately, Quinn stayed true to his emphasis of evaluating as many players as possible , especially rookies. Wide receiver Julio Jones and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were held out.
“I was tempted for sure because I certainly didn’t like how it started, but at the end I wanted to stick with the plan knowing there’s a lot we have to do from an evaluation standpoint,” Quinn said Monday when asked about the possibility of giving Ryan another series.
The Falcons’ first-half statistics were especially ugly: 10 plays, one first down and 34 total yards.
Even in the first preseason game, when player evaluations are more important than team results Matt Murray Jersey , it was an ugly showing for an offense seeking improvement in coordinator Steve Sarkasian’s second year.
“I was concerned,” Quinn said before backtracking to say he didn’t know if that was “the right way to say it.”
“I think the penalties certainly got in our way some,” Quinn said. “There were a lot of things I wasn’t happy with.”
There are many areas where Quinn will be looking for improvement.
“I think the way we come off the ball, the run game, the play-action that comes with it, the shots down the field, I didn’t feel that to the extent I’d like to so I’m hopeful that some of those short yardages now get converted, the drives get converted,” he said.
Ryan and the starters may have another brief stint against the Chiefs. Starters normally see extended playing time in only the third preseason game.
Ryan said the goal will be to “clean up on some of the mistakes we made and try to play more efficient and better football.”
NOTES: After being held out against the Jets, PK Matt Bryant (undisclosed injury) wore a cap instead of a helmet as he was a spectator in the portion of practice open to reporters. The plan is for Bryant to kick in practice Wednesday, and then a decision will be made on his status for Friday night’s game. … OT Ty Sambrailo (right hand) returned to practice after missing the game.
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