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O-Zone Podcast: Paul Posluszny

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny (51) during the singing of the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (NFL Photos via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – Paul Posluszny never second-guessed the decision. Not seriously.

Asked if he ever, ever, ever harbors even the slightest thought of playing in the NFL again, the former linebacker laughed. The decision, he said, was made for him long ago.

Posluszny, who retired two offseasons ago after seven seasons with the Jaguars, joined senior writer John Oehser for this week's O-Zone podcast. He very definitely dismissed the notion of playing again, and said the reality is he knew when he retired following the 2017 season his football career was over.

"Trust me: if I could, I would have never stopped," Posluszny said, smiling. "I miss it so bad. I'm 35 and I weight 215 (pounds) right now. I lost a lot of weight. Trust me: if I could, I would be out there."

Posluszny, who played with the Jaguars from 2011-2017 before retiring following the team's run to the 2017 AFC Championship Game, was candid on multiple topics during the podcast. While he said he never has doubted that he retired at the right time, and while he said he is adjusting well to life after football, he also said the adjustment hasn't been simple – saying it wasn't until the 2019 season that he watched Jaguars games as a "fan."

He also said he believed it was important to be honest about the difficulties faced in retirement.

"I didn't want to hide from the problems that can come up," Posluszny said. "Football, when you play it, is an addicting drug. You're surrounded by it; it's all you think about all day. All of a sudden, that's taken away. Not taken away forcefully, but you decide to move on …

"When that's not there, being able to find something to replicate that structure and order and passion and being on a team … it's hard to do."

He added, "Once this season starts, it will be Year Three away from the game, but it still feels different. It's been an interesting process, trying to figure out what's next."

Posluszny with his wife, Elizabeth, and children, have remained in Jacksonville. Since retiring, he has worked toward his Master of Business Administration, and spent more than a year as an apprentice aircraft mechanic at Malone AirCharter. He is currently working with TIAA Bank as a corporate development analyst.

"It's been a great experience," he said.

Not that football is out of his thoughts. Posluszny was asked often during his career if he would consider coaching following retirement. He typically distanced himself from the question.

He sounded decidedly less distant on the podcast.

"I'm still very much in the process of figuring that out," Posluszny said. "Toward the end of my career, and right when I got done, I said, 'I don't know if coaching's really for me.' If you play ball for a long time, that doesn't mean you would be a great coach. I thought I always wanted to try something different. Football was such a big part of my life and I loved every minute of it – but (he) also (wanted to) find a new challenge.

"But I can say the more that I'm away from the game, the more I want to be close to the game. So, I won't say no to coaching. But I do know I'm still very much in the process of figuring out what's truly next."

To listen to the O-Zone podcast with Posluszny, click here.

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