View Full Version : Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

01-25-2012, 04:42 PM
http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 050a0cac60 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Chris-Hoke-announces-his-retirement/22d27125-bea7-4253-91dd-db050a0cac60)

"Steelers’ nose tackle, Chris Hoke, has announced that he will retire after 11 seasons with Pittsburgh.

Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Brigham Young University in 2001, Hoke spent the last 11 seasons as one of the most reliable backups on the Steelers’ defense. In 2004, Hoke had his most successful season, recording 27 tackles and one sack. In Hoke’s 18 career starts during the regular season, the Steelers had a record of 17-1.

There will be more from Hoke on Thursday after he talks about his retirement."

01-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Bummer, Aaron Smith is probably next.

01-25-2012, 04:51 PM

Here is to a career long Steeler. Thanks for the years of service.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-25-2012, 04:52 PM
Hoke was the man. Loved seeing the dude out there. Good luck in your future Hokie!!!

01-25-2012, 05:04 PM
One of the rare guys who had a full career with a single team as a backup.


01-25-2012, 05:14 PM
He could have been a starter on a number of teams. They don't make too many like Hoke a true team guy. I wish him the best in life.

01-25-2012, 05:26 PM
Much love for Hoke. The defense never missed a beat with him in there.

Congrats on a long, successful and championship filled career! :Cheers

01-25-2012, 05:34 PM
I posted this a little while back - but one of my all time favorite 'lunch pail' guys. Never complained, always put in an honest days work, and made the most out of every opportunity he was ever given.

He carved out a nice career in a town that really appreciated his attitude.

Eddie Spaghetti
01-25-2012, 06:24 PM
love that guy.

always ready when his number was called.

a true professional.

01-25-2012, 07:06 PM
Honestly think he was more than a 'journeyman', although he accepted that role with the Steelers without complaint.

Best wishes Chris Hoke.

01-25-2012, 07:10 PM
Honestly think he was more than a 'journeyman', although he accepted that role with the Steelers without complaint.

Best wishes Chris Hoke.

Like I said, he could have been a starter on many teams. He could have been a starter for the steelers too. Our team has wow stats when he was the starter.

01-25-2012, 07:24 PM
The D won't be the same without him.

How many guys go 17-1 as a starter? I always thought this guy should have been a starter. Probably the most underrated Steeler of all time.

01-25-2012, 07:55 PM
Even though you knew it was coming it's hard to imagine the Steelers without Hoke and the others sure to follow very soon.

God Speed Hokie, I hope you get the BYU coaching job, at least we'll all know where to find you to see how you're doing.

Here's to you :Cheers


01-25-2012, 08:26 PM
Congrats to #76 on oyur retirement..... You will be missed......

:Beer :Bow


01-25-2012, 09:43 PM
This is the beginning of the end of an era of players.

Hoke will certainly be missed. Great team player, and a great player. He'll certainly be missed. I wish all the best to him and his family.

01-25-2012, 10:05 PM
17-1 when he starts!

Maybe he should have started all 11 years. We'd have another 8-9 Super Bowls.

01-26-2012, 02:30 AM
A Tribute to Unheralded and Retiring Steelers NT Chris Hoke

by Neal Coolong on Jan 25, 2012


No one will be lobbying for enshrinement into Canton for Steelers NT Chris Hoke, who announced his retirement today after 11 seasons in Pittsburgh.

We didn't see him in Hawaii in those annoying red AFC Pro Bowl jerseys. We didn't even see his name on the draft tracker on ESPN back in 2001, when the Steelers signed him as an undrafted free agent out of BYU.

We did see him on two Super Bowl championship roster, and three AFC Championship roster. We saw him more-than-adequately back-up Steelers legend Casey Hampton his entire career, and in 18 starts, Hoke's Steelers won an eye-popping 17 of them.

It's a stat unlikely to be challenged, mostly because few would bother to farm through historic records to find a comparable player. But that's why the stat is so important; it fits Hoke even better than his facial hair.

Understated, unheralded but completely in control of his craft.

When the Steelers announced Hoke, 35, would undergo season-ending neck surgery, Steel City Insider's Jim Wexell penned an excellent piece on second-year NT Steve McLendon's reaction to Hoke's retirement. Anything that may have been considered unheralded about Hoke was washed away with McLendon's nearly teary-eyed description of the kind of leader and teacher Hoke is.

We don't see what's happening on the sidelines during games. We didn't see Hoke shouting out what he sees, or helping defensive line coach Johnny Mitchell make in-game adjustments. We saw him go in and help the league's best defensive team over the last 10 years when it needed him but we weren't exposed to his true value.

That value is simple; teams do not win without guys like Chris Hoke. It's not the talent of your superstars, but the character of the players on your bench that bring championships. Veteran leadership and savvy cannot be understated, although we always want the next big thing.

The legacy of this defensive line over the last 10 years will be as rich and storied as the Steel Curtain before it, and Hoke is as big a part of it as Hampton, Aaron Smith or Brett Keisel. Fans will always remember 98, 91 and 99, and perhaps less fans will remember 76.

But if there's ever a reunion of the Steelers Super Bowl teams of the new millennium, and all those guys are hanging around meeting with people, with all due respect to the starters, I'm heading straight for Chris Hoke, and I'm asking to shake his hand.

Because he's the one who did the most that no one saw, and I want him to know some people recognize those characteristics as defining points of a champion.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... #storyjump (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/1/25/2734365/steelers-chris-hoke-retiring-career-record-winning#storyjump)

01-26-2012, 08:42 AM
If he's interested, maybe Hoke is a former player that the Steelers would want to retain as a coach down the line...

01-26-2012, 10:28 AM
Very nice article. Sounds as if he'd be a fantastic coach (or already was one).


01-26-2012, 11:07 AM
Well, Jerry Olsavsky's career as a Steeler was essentially the linebacker version of Chris Hoke, and Jerry O is now on our coaching staff. I believe John Mitchell (who is now in his 60's), said that he would consider retirement once his long-time DL (Smith-Hampton-Keisel-Hoke) were gone. Perhaps Hokie could step in for him when he steps down.

I love that this thread has reached its second page already. That's what makes true Steeler fans special...they appreciate the contributions of long-time backup nose tackles. Compare that to your average bandwagon Pats fan, who knows Brady, probably Welker, and maybe Gronkowski now, but that's about it.

01-27-2012, 09:06 PM
Steelers defensive lineman Hoke persisted despite long odds

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chris Hoke was the consummate role player. He planted his hands in the trenches and committed to doing the dirty work that enabled others to thrive amid the spotlight.

Every now and then, the 305-pound nose tackle would steal the show in training camp with an Irish jig that inspired the crowd and his Steelers teammates. On Thursday, flanked by longtime friends — nose tackle Casey Hampton, defensive ends Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith — Hoke retired without much fanfare.

Hoke, 35, decided his 11th year with the Steelers would be his curtain call, in part, because of a series of nagging injuries, mostly a neck injury that landed him on injured reserve this past season.

"I had a couple of big injuries this year, and it helped put things in perspective for me," Hoke said. "I think the man upstairs was talking to me, and it's time for me to move on."

Hoke's wife, Jaimee, and his three sons were at the Steelers' training facility during his emotional farewell. Coach Mike Tomlin, who had been at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., also made an appearance.

Hoke said he resisted the temptation to continue playing. He said he spent part of last season in denial — his neck injury was far more severe than he imagined.

"I would have been doing my family a disservice to continue playing," Hoke said. "It could have been pretty bad.

"I'm glad I went to see the doctor when I did."

Hoke started only 18 games in his career, but hardly anyone was as reliable. The odds were stacked against him when signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001, partly because the Steelers selected Hampton with their first pick in that draft.

In 2004, Hoke had his most successful season, recording 27 tackles and one sack, as Hampton nursed an injured knee.

"When I walked in here 11 years ago as an undrafted free agent, I had a lot of dreams, but I never thought I'll be standing here 11 years later," Hoke said. "The feeling of family makes this a special place. Coach (Bill) Cowher stuck with me doing my growing years, and coach Tomlin believed in me.

"I was blessed to play for the best defensive coordinator in NFL history," he added. "Coach (D!ck) LeBeau was the turning point in my career when he came in 2004, because he helped me turn things around."

Hoke, choking back tears, also credited defensive line coach John Mitchell.

"My dream was to just make the team," said Hoke, who helped the Steelers advance to six AFC championship games. "To be a part of a couple of Super Bowl teams is truly unbelievable."

Hoke's departure leaves questions about the rest of an aging defensive front.

Hampton and Keisel might have to take considerable pay cuts to resolve the Steelers' salary cap issues. Also, Smith isn't likely to return next season, meaning the Steelers will lean more on their young linemen — ends Ziggy Hood and last year's No.1 pick Cameron Heyward, and nose tackle Steve McLendon.

"It's about helping the team to win, and those three guys have that attitude," Hoke said. "They are going to be great players for many years to come."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1khtfngus (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_778604.html#ixzz1khtfngus)

01-28-2012, 01:07 AM
It's too bad there isn't a way to get these guys to suit up one last time, play for a play and then exit the game and let the fans send them off into retirement with a standing ovation.

To the latest generation of great Steeler players. :Cheers

To Hoke: :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow
One for each year.


01-28-2012, 01:33 AM
Hoke,..we salute you Dragon. We honor your deeds, will and integrity. Enjoy the hard earned good life Sir. :Cheers :Steel

01-28-2012, 05:32 PM
How many organizations hold formal ceremonies for retiring backup nose tackles that his family is able to attend and see how much their father/husband meant to all his fellow d-lineman, the owner of the team, etc.? The pic currently in HIsteel's sig just shows how much of a family this great generation of Steelers has been...

01-28-2012, 06:22 PM
I just think it was nice for Smith, Hampton and Keisel to dress up for the occasion... :lol:

01-28-2012, 11:16 PM
One of my favorite players. God bless you in retirement, Hokie.
:tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2

01-30-2012, 08:02 PM
January 29, 2012

By John Mehno
The Altoona Mirror

Fan favorite

If there was ever any doubt about how much the region loves its Steelers, it was proven again by Chris Hoke's retirement press conference.

Hoke was a back-up player throughout his career. He started 18 games in 11 seasons.

Yet his farewell was on the scale of someone who's a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Humility and gratitude play especially well when they're wrapped in black and gold.

http://altoonamirror.com/page/content.d ... ml?nav=751 (http://altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/557684/Meeting-Rooney-a-good-idea.html?nav=751)

01-30-2012, 11:11 PM
It's too bad there isn't a way to get these guys to suit up one last time, play for a play and then exit the game and let the fans send them off into retirement with a standing ovation.

To the latest generation of great Steeler players. :Cheers

To Hoke: :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow :Bow
One for each year.



01-31-2012, 12:05 AM
Chadman would be remiss not to post here.

Chris Hoke...the guy Chadman always cut or traded on Madden for so many years, until Chadman started to realise...you know- kinda like Chris Hoke.

Chris Hoke, the guy that won 17 of his 18 starts. Chadman doesn't care that it is in part because he was surrounded by great players. Fact is- he did his part well enough to let the great players be great.

Chris Hoke- the undrafted BYU DT that won SB rings, who became the 4th or 5th guy on one of the most dominant defensive units in modern football.

Chris Hoke- the guy humble & grounded enough to know that, despite the thrill, despite the enjoyment- his family actually does come first- not in the same way a guy who jumps from one team to another for a higher pay says they look after their family- but in knowing that quality of life beyond football is important not just to him, but to his loved ones. The guy that knows when enough is enough, and time to walk away.

Chris Hoke- the humblest Steeler legend of recent years.

Here's hoping Hokey gets a gig as an assistant DL coach somewhere (Pittsburgh??) in the near future & it gives him the opportunity to show young players the value of knowing their place in a team. And let's hope that is the stepping stone to something greater.

Who knows? In 10 years or so, maybe Chris Hoke could be Pittsburgh's 4th HC in 40 odd years?

:Clap :Clap :Clap

01-31-2012, 12:07 AM
Actually- here's something.

We all believe Aaron Smith is retiring as well, right?

Is it a sign of respect that he's held off announcing his retirement to let Hoke get his moment in the sun?

Or is it a sign that Smith isn't ready to walk away yet?