NEW ORLEANS (AP) -Steve Gleason, a scrappy special teams favorite who cemented his place in New Orleans Saints lore with a blocked punt during the Louisiana Superdome's reopening following Hurricane Katrina, has decided to retire.
``The time's right. I'm getting married. I can walk away with my health,'' said Gleason, who turns 31 this month. ``I want to be active and adventurous when I'm 80 years old. If football was all I had in my life, I probably could play three or four more years. Who knows?''
Gleason, a free-agent, spent 2007 on injured reserve after having microfracture surgery on his right knee. He said the operation - which involves drilling tiny holes in the bone to stimulate growth of tissue similar to cartilage - was a success and he believes his knee will be close to fully recovered soon.
At 5-foot-11 and 212 pounds, the relatively undersized Gleason stood out on the field for two reasons: his long, light-brown hair that stuck out of the back of his helmet and the way he hurdled himself downfield on kick coverage with seemingly no regard for his own well-being. He always seemed to end up in the right spot. He was third on the team in special teams tackles in 2006 with 14.
He also had the fourth blocked punt of his seven-year career in a victory over Atlanta on Sept. 25, 2006 - the first game played in the rebuilt Superdome following Katrina.
Gleason knows he'll be remembered for that play more than anything else. Some longtime sports observers here say the block, which resulted in the game's opening touchdown, sparked one of the loudest, wildest eruptions of cheering ever heard or seen in the stadium's storied history as a sporting venue.
``I don't think I've ever heard anything in my life louder than that moment,'' Gleason said. ``Undoubtedly, as far as on the football field, the defining moment in my career will be that play. People are going to remember that moment for decades, you know? I'm honored to have my legacy be defined by that play.
``Another thing I'll always be proud of is that people in the city respect me because they saw how hard I worked and how hard I played,'' Gleason said. ``They saw my effort on the field, the preparation. That's one thing I'll always be able to hang my hat on. I committed myself entirely to the play when I was on the field.''

Recent NFL Discussions

NFL / NBA .. Timmy learns no lessons on Sun, Jan 2017 by TtomBoBadly
2nd Half pitt/ ne on Sun, Jan 2017 by sharkey11
2nd half on Sun, Jan 2017 by JBoppa
Pitt ML on Sun, Jan 2017 by JBoppa
Pressure and speed defenses, cut and dry on Sun, Jan 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail AFC Championship Game Prediction Are the Steelers a good bet to cover versus the Patriots in tonight's AFC Championship Game at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail AFC Title Spread Holding Steady Kickoff of tonight's AFC Championship Game is set for 6:40PM ET between the Steelers and Patriots. Where is the point spread currently?
Thumbnail Public Bettors backing Patriots Are public bettors backing Tom Brady and the Patriots today in the AFC Championship Game, or the underdog Steelers at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail NFC Title First Player to Score Pick Who will score the first touchdown in the NFC Championship Game today at 3:05PM ET? Let's take a look at the odds first.
Thumbnail Packers vs. Falcons Prediction Will the Packers pull off the upset in Atlanta today at 3:05PM ET when they visit the Falcons for the 2017 NFC Championship Game?
Advertisement

NFL Team Pages