"I was with Johnny for eight months, and Johnny is a very good guy," Shanahan told ESPN.com Wednesday. "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.
"Unfortunately, he’s had a lot of things going on inside of that building. You could tell, for obvious reasons, that he struggled with it. But I am pulling for him because I do know he’s a good kid. I know he’s got a good heart. I know he can be a good football player."
Manziel, who was waived by the Cleveland Browns in March, has been involved in a number of off-the-field incidents, including an indictment on misdemeanor assault charges for allegedly attacking his girlfriend. Most recently, Manziel was sued for $40,000 for causing "extensive damage" to a Los Angeles home he rented in April.
Manziel’s father, Paul, attempted to get his son psychiatric treatment and help for chemical dependency. The elder Manziel said he feared for his son’s life.
"I don’t know what’s going on now, but you see all the stuff," Shanahan said. "I do care about Johnny as a person, and I really hope that he can get his stuff together."
Manziel, a former Heisman Trophy winner out of Texas A&M, played in 14 games with the Browns, starting eight.