“It wasn’t a stinger it was a lot more severe than that. I won’t need surgery, thank goodness, and it should be something that will get better over time. And I’m grateful for that (and) I won’t have to get cut on at all. The prognosis for my quality of life is that I’ll be able to press on, play with my kids, and do all the things that I like doing.”
Strong characterized the injury as a herniated disc that pinched a nerve in his spinal cord.
The 15-year veteran said that there were other things to consider as well.
“There’s a lot more to life than football,” Strong noted. “I’ve got a wife and two kids and there’s nothing more important than being able to spend time with them. If I had not been able to walk off that field, I don’t know. … I mean, life goes on and all that, but I’m just grateful that I got the opportunity to make that decision, to make that choice.
“To me, it’s a no-brainer. I’ve given it all, every ounce inside of me, to football. I feel like I gave every ounce that I had so I have no regrets.”
Over his career, Strong has led the way for three running backs that have rushed for at least 1,000 yards in a season – Chris Warren, Ricky Waters and Shaun Alexander – and was a big reason that Alexander was able to set the NFL single-season touchdown mark (28) and was named the NFL’s MVP.
“I feel like I’ve played a couple of careers and I’ve been apart of an incredible team,” Strong recalled. “A lot of memories of coming to this building, and I was just talking to somebody downstairs about all the players that I’ve had relationships with, guys that have come and gone. … Being able to go to the Super Bowl, going to a couple of Pro Bowls, that’s something I never thought of. In ’93 if someone would have told me all that would have been waiting for me at the end of my career, I would have been like, ‘You’re nuts. No way.’
“I feel like I’ve been extremely blessed.”
Strong’s replacement is expected to be Leonard Weaver and the mentor said his protégé should make the transition pretty smooth.
“I have the utmost confidence in Leonard Weaver,” Strong said. “I think he will make people forget about Mack Strong around here. He can have that type of impact because he has that type of ability. He’s just a great guy to be around. … The ball is squarely in his court and he’ll take the ball and run with it.”
Strong said he expects to remain involved with the team in some capacity for the foreseeable future.
Scott Eklund writes for Seahawks.NET and Dawgman.com. Feel free to e-mail him here.