Former Redskins offensive tackle Chris Samuels was one of the best draft picks in the Dan Snyder era, a third overall pick who went on to make six Pro Bowls. Certainly the Pro Bowl often is about popularity, but there’s little doubt Samuels had a solid career from 2000-2009. So it was fun catching up with him last month for a recent story on transitioning from the NFL to the real world.
But I could only use a smidgen of what Samuels and I spoke about. And for this week’s email report, I figured I’d give you a little more. That’s just my nature now, isn’t it?
For starters, Samuels is taking classes at the University of Alabama and said he was nine classes shy of earning his degree. He also said one team turned him down as their offensive line coach in part because he did not have that degree.
“Before I took [school] for granted and didn’t pay attention, but every day I’m in there taking notes really into it and kind of excited about it,” Samuels said.
He also said the adjustment from the NFL hasn’t been as difficult for him as it has been for others.
“I never tried to put myself on a pedestal when I was making big money playing on Sundays,” he said. “Once everything ended I didn’t have a panic attack or didn’t go out and go overboard with drinking or trying drugs just to cope with my current situation. I always kept a level head while I was there, so it was a smooth transition for me vs. a lot of guys that get caught up in that lifestyle.”
Samuels also talked about the last time he bumped into former Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington as well as one of the tougher moments when it struck him that he’d no longer play in the NFL.
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