Offensive Tackle, Justin Smiley showed up in Oakland Raider Training Camp on Wednesday and by Saturday afternoon he’d decided to call it quits.
On Wednesday, Justin spoke of his motivations to prove that he wasn’t done. He’d passed his exit physical last season and his entrance physical for Jacksonville this year. He seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder after being cut for a young draft pick.
But, by Saturday, there was a missing name and number on the roster that the media receives every day at camp, 51, Justin Smiley.
This prompted one reporter to ask Hue Jackson about Smiley after the session, to which Jackson responded:
“Well, Justin Smiley has made a decision to retire. He has. And, what a man. He came in to see me today and said ‘coach I just, this is just not for me right now’ and I respect that. The great thing about this place is, I told you, this is hard work. Everybody can’t do this. If your mind and body is not ready to do this on a daily basis, it’s tough. And he said ‘coach thanks for the opportunity but my heart’s just not in it anymore, football, so nothing against you or the Raiders but I just can’t do this anymore.’ And I respect that”
After two days of nonstop two hour practices and meetings until 10PM, Smiley realized that he just didn’t have what it took to take the punishment one more time.
Smiley had a solid career with the San Francisco Forty Niners, but, was set back by injuries in each of the past two years in Miami and Jacksonville.
One has to wonder if Mike Singletary’s Nut-Cracker took it’s toll on another, once promising career.