Ex-Broncos RB Ball opens up about battle with alcoholism

Photo of Ex-Broncos RB Ball opens up about battle with alcoholism

Former Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball spoke at length about his battle with alcoholism on Wednesday.

Ball is considered one of the most spectacular draft busts in recent history, flaming out of the NFL after three seasons.

The running back set NCAA records for most single-season and career touchdowns during his tenure at Wisconsin, and was widely expected to be a focal point of the Broncos' offense after being selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Ball recounted how Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville knew of his drinking problem and offered him a safe space, which he ignored.

"He talked about how he could smell the alcohol on me and that he thinks I may have a problem with drinking," Ball said via ESPN. "He said if I needed any help with that he could reach out to people I could talk to. I didn't listen to him."

Ball also revealed that he never paid attention to the advice he was given over the course of his career, believing that he could coast on his natural ability.

"I wouldn't take any of it seriously," Ball said. "I was naïve enough to think my playing days would last forever. I would literally sit in the back of the room texting or being on Instagram not paying attention to the professional explaining to me about preparing for life after football and how important it is.

"I failed to use my platform to help others and to use the NFL as a stepping stone in life. I surrounded myself with bad people, not on the team but in the city. I was naive enough to believe I had all the answers. I'm still kicking myself in the butt for that."

At 26, it's not inconceivable that Ball could make a comeback, though it appears that he's moved on to another avenues.

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