After an NFL career beyond anything he ever imagined, the Byron native retired this month, citing time away from his family as his biggest concern.
He and his wife, Nicole, have a 5-year-old son, Caden, and soon-to-be 2-year-old triplets Cohen, Corben and Hadley Nicole. Throw in a new house built a year ago in Byron, and the often-frantic lifestyle of an NFL player held little appeal to the former two-time all-stater and all-Big Ten safety.
“Two years ago, I spent 6 months away from my kids after they were born, and I said I’d never do that again,” Considine said. “I have no interest, especially this time of year and at this time in my children’s lives, in being away from my family. I’m just not doing it anymore.
“I love football as much as anybody, and it’s been really great to me, but I’ve been gone for basically 2 years, and my wife and kids are at the point where I need to be around for them.”
With a young family and a new permanent residence in his hometown, Considine decided the time was right to retire – and the way last season ended was a big part of that.
After spending the 2011 season in two places – he was cut by the Panthers early in the season, then signed with the Cardinals – Considine was almost ready to call it a career.
But last offseason, he received a phone call for his former special teams coach with the Eagles, John Harbaugh, who offered him a spot with the Ravens’ special teams unit.
“He’s got his way with words, and he talked me into it pretty good,” Considine recalled. “He told me Nicole and the kids would be able to come out for the season, and he talked about winning the Super Bowl and just kind of laid it out there for me and told me where I was going to fit in … and everything he told me turned out to be true.”
The Ravens rolled all the way to the Super Bowl, and Considine really enjoyed the ride … even if the game left him with a few gray hairs.
Leading 28-6 early in the third quarter after Jacoby Jones’ record-setting 108-yard kickoff return TD – thanks in part to Considine’s block that helped spring the play – the Ravens lost momentum when some of the Superdome lights went out. After a 34-minute delay, the 49ers scored 17 straight points, and drove inside the Ravens’ 10-yard line in the final few minutes.
“The game was actually … I enjoyed the whole atmosphere and everything, but I didn’t really enjoy the end of the game at all,” Considine said. “I caught myself watching the clock a lot, because it was something I wanted to bad, and you felt the momentum shift, and all of a sudden it looked like it wasn’t going to happen at the last second.
“I remember thinking, ‘Man, if this things slips away, it’s going to be hard to live with.’ Especially with all the hard work and the sacrifice you’ve made leaving your family behind, that clock couldn’t tick down fast enough.”
But Baltimore held on to win 34-31, and Considine took his time savoring the feeling of achieving his ultimate NFL dream.
“It was pretty cool, and it took a few weeks for it to kind of settle in,” Considine said. “I’m not an emotional guy, so I kind of had to think things through before I realized what had happened.
“And it’s not just that Super Bowl win. Every day I played in the NFL, was kind of like I almost had to pinch myself. I still can’t believe I played 8 years; they compounded on themselves so fast. The things I witnessed and heard and experienced – from the start of it all the way through the Super Bowl run – it was unbelievable.”
Considine admitted that had the Ravens lost that game, he would’ve felt a bit differently about retiring. He said he probably would have re-signed with the Ravens, who offered him a 1-year deal with no guarantees, or looked to latch on to another team that he felt was a legitimate contender.
But after meeting with Harbaugh, Considine saw the writing on the wall. Turnover on the Ravens’ roster meant the team was going to actively pursue safeties through free agency and the draft, and Considine’s spot may have ultimately been filled by someone else. He decided to hang it up.
“John totally understood,” said Considine, who still goes through a rigorous workout routine every morning, “and we left it as if they really got in a pinch, he wanted to know if he could give me a call in August. I told him I’d always take a phone call, but my demands at that point would be pretty extensive. I’m not counting on anything.”
Instead, Considine has turned toward the future. He’s taken on many of the “little projects” still to be done at the new house – “I think people who drive by everyday think I’m going into the landscaping business,” he joked – and is looking to spend some quality time with Nicole and the kids before finding his next career path.
He was the color analyst for Iowa’s spring scrimmage on Big Ten Network, though he says broadcasting isn’t for him. He’s also starting a small business with a friends whose family owns a meat market in Creston, Ill.; they’re building a customized refrigerated trailer in order to sell fresh meat at farmers markets, town festivals, county fairs, and sporting events around the area.
But mostly, he’s looking forward to watching his kids grow up – Caden’s already into a summer youth baseball league – and being around friends and family in the Sauk Valley area.
“It’s going to be different, and it;s going to be tough not to have football during the season,” Considine admitted, “but it’s something that I’ll be able to handle, no problem. I’ve been looking forward to doing other things, and it was just the right time to move on.
“I’m very content with where I’m at, being around here, and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”
Born: Oct. 28, 1981
Family: Wife Nicole, sons Caden (5), Cohen (23 months), Corben (23 months), daughter Hadley (23 months)
NFL teams: Eagles (2005-08), Jaguars (2009-10), Panthers (2011), Cardinals (2011), Ravens (2012)
NFL stats: 98 games (28 starts), 260 tackles (195 solo, 99 on special teams), 2.5 sacks, 4 INTs, 6 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles
FYI: Officially retired June 6 after 8 NFL seasons. … Provided key block during Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return TD in Super Bowl XLVII, which Ravens won 34-31 over San Francisco. … Was all-Big Ten safety at Iowa, which went 38-12 during his 4 seasons. … First-team all-state selection as junior & senior at Byron, which he led to 1999 Class 2A state title.