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Steelers Blog

Current players talk about those set to retire

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 3, 2012 – 2:06 pm

The lights will be shining on four former Steelers one last time on Friday night as they officially retire from the NFL as Steelers at the team’s night practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

Willie Parker, Joey Porter, Aaron Smith and Marvel Smith, all members of at least one Super Bowl winning team, will be honored prior to the practice.

“All four are great Steelers,” said defensive end Brett Keisel, who played with each of them. “They were great players here. Aaron has taught me so much, how to play, approach it, play with technique. Marvel Smith, we competed like crazy when I was a younger player, he used to dominate me.

“All four of them are Pro Bowlers. Joey was our fearless leader. He had a method to his madness for sure. And Willie, he was a great player that came from free agency and worked his way into a starting role.”

Linebacker Larry Foote looks at the four players as guys who brought leadership to the locker room and left their footprint on the team for years to come, especially Porter who helped him when he was a young linebacker.

“I remember being a rookie looking up to them, them showing me the ropes,” said Foote. “It’s going to be a special night, they were all special.

“Joey was one of those special teammates, he brought everyone together. He was the ultimate captain, ultimate leader. His influence is still on this team. A lot of guys learned so much from him. He is the reason why we have had so much success this past decade.”

Current Steelers defensive linemen will always hold a special place in their heart for Aaron Smith, who was more than a teammate to them.

“He is a highly positive role model,” said Ziggy Hood. “Everything I learned and gained, I gained from guys like him. It’s one last big bang before you go out.

“He will still be that guy in my eyes for every lesson he taught me and everything I learned from him. It will be a special night.”

Keisel is happy all four will get a proper send off and thank you by the thousands of fans expected at the night practice, but saying thank you to Smith might be something he can never do enough of.

“Words can’t explain how much Aaron has taught me, not just on the football field but about being a man,” said Keisel. “I look up to him so much I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay him for what he has taught me.

“It will be emotional, but I have had time to wipe the tears away and enjoy and celebrate the career he had. I will never be able to repay him for what he has done for me and the organization.”

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Posted in Training Camp | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Current players talk about those set to retire”

  1. By Derrick on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Yes all four were good players and its good that they are retiring as a steeler thanks for the memorys.

  2. By Rafael Augusto on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    A special night with four real Steelers players. God bless them !!!!.

  3. By fonsoc on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    I highly regard Aaron Smith first and foremost for his commitment to Jesus Christ. That factor enhanced all his other attributes and made him into what I believe to be a sterling example of an NFL player! His leadership by example was far more important than any precept.

    While I also appreciate Joey Porter for his ferocious play and hitting, Willie Parket for coming from free agency to achieve what he did and his 75 yard run in the Super Bowl and Marvel Smith for his great play, I can’t think of anyone on the Steelers teams I have known since the 70’s who exemplifies dedication and godly character that was above reproach as Aaron Smith!

    I wish all of these men the very best. The Steelers are and should be proud to have had such men play for them, and they should have a special place in the hearts of the fans as long as the Steelers continue to play in the pro football arena.

  4. By John H Hunt on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Having read all the comments by team mates, all I heard was: what they did for me and the team.

    Typical Steeler responses to team mates moving on.

    What a tradition, what sincerity and what respect for each other.

  5. By Brian Pile on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    The Steelers embody the word family by the way the organization and fans embrace that team. Aaron Smith was a part of the family by his consistent selfless work on and off the field, he is still a big part of the community. Marvel Smith was quiet but became one of our best LT in Steeler history. Fast Willie came from free agency to be the star of Super Bowl 40. And last but not least, Peezy brought a leadership style and swagger that we had not seen since Lambert and Lloyd. Speaking of Jack…”If I could start my life all over again, I’d be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe, I’d be a Pittsburgh Steeler”.

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