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Thread: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

  1. #21
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    Steelers defensive lineman Hoke persisted despite long odds

    By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    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

  2. #22
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    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.

    To Hoke:
    One for each year.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
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    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  3. #23

    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    Hoke,..we salute you Dragon. We honor your deeds, will and integrity. Enjoy the hard earned good life Sir.
    1) Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington

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  4. #24
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    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...

  5. #25

    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    I just think it was nice for Smith, Hampton and Keisel to dress up for the occasion...

  6. #26

    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    One of my favorite players. God bless you in retirement, Hokie.

  7. #27
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    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

  8. #28

    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    Quote Originally Posted by papillon
    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.

    To Hoke:
    One for each year.

    Pappy

  9. #29
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    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    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?

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  10. #30
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    Re: Chris Hoke Announces Retirement

    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?
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