Dan Campbell talks about retirement from NFL

Dan Campbell spoke about his own retirement from the NFL and about what he asks his players when they are considering the same.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell played 11 seasons in the National Football League before finally retiring and he knows very well how it feels to walk away from a game he had played for so long.

Earlier this week, rookie CB Jermaine Waller unexpectedly decided that he was going to retire from the NFL before he really even got started.

On Thursday, Campbell spoke to the media about Waller.

“It wasn’t for him, and that’s OK,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Thursday, on the final day of mandatory minicamp. “You don’t know until you know, and I think he felt like that was — that this wasn’t for him, and that’s OK. So I wish him the best of luck.”

When Campbell finally decided to hang up his cleats, it was because he just could not stay healthy anymore and he knew it was time to move on to the next chapter of his life.

“I couldn’t stay healthy anymore,” Campbell said. “I’ve said that I was like ‘Mr. Glass,' but I miss the heck out of it and it’s hard. Even then, I felt like — as I think most guys would, even though maybe you can’t go 60 plays, you really do believe you could go a few more. Just a few. Now, you need about a month to recover. That’s hard, but eventually it goes away because the realization is it’s like, ‘Look, that’s why you can’t do this anymore,' because things are happening and either the body begins to break down or mentally you just don’t have it anymore.

“At some point you just don’t feel like running through that wall anymore and that happens. That’s a part of it.”


Dan Campbell asks players to consider 2 questions before they retire

While talking about retirement, Campbell said that there are two questions he asks players who are considering retirement.

The first question he asks is what are their plans for after football and the second is, “five years from now (when) you look back on this moment, are you going to regret it?”

Campbell's reasoning for the questions is to get the player considering retirement to really step back and think about the decision they are about to make so that they are at peace in the long run.

“You just try to get them to ponder it as much as possible and really — that’s really, ultimately for me what I want to know they’ve done,” Campbell said. “They’ve really thought it out and tried to at least look out and they’ve got a plan, they’re able to know they’re about to make a decision that they can walk away from and never look back on. So that’s part of it. Everybody’s — it hits everybody a little different, at different times and for us on that standpoint, it’s better that it happened now than later.”