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Posluszny: 'Rather be a year too early than one play too late'

From ESPN - April 16, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Paul Posluszny didnt want to be a player who hung around a year or two longer than he should have.

Doing that would have cheated the game hes loved since childhood. Outside of an injury, thats the worst thing Posluszny could have imagined happening to him on the field, and its why the Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker eventually decided to make the 2017 season his last after 11 years in the NFL.

The painful decision turned into an emotional goodbye on Monday afternoon in a news conference at EverBank Field.

I do not want to do this. I do not want to retire right now, Posluszny said. I want to keep playing. But what was more important for me was I did not want to go back on the field and be a step too slow or miss a play. If I am out on the field with Telvin [Smith] and Myles [Jack] and they expect me to do something and I miss that play because I held on a year too long, I do not know how Id look at them. That was unacceptable to me.

I know that's right around the corner, and once it hits, it hits. You do not stop it. Avoiding that was the most important thing. It's my time. I love the game too much, and I respect it too much to not be able to physically do everything that I have done in years past. And if that's a year too early maybe I am going to regret it, but I'd rather be a year too early than one play too late."

Poslusznys final game turned out to be the Jaguars 24-20 loss to New England in the AFC Championship Game, which marked not only his first playoff appearance but was also in the first year he'd played on a team that finished with a winning record. He had six tackles in that game and finished his career with 1,381 tackles, 15 interceptions and 16 sacks. His 973 tackles in seven seasons with the Jaguars (after four with Buffalo) are second in franchise history.

But Poslusznys impact on the franchise goes far beyond his stats. Coach Doug Marrone and executive vice president Tom Coughlin have called Posluszny the ultimate professional because of his dedication, his work ethic and his manner in the locker room and off the field. Marrone has said Posluszny is a shining example for all young players entering the league, which linebacker Telvin Smith quickly found out as a rookie in 2014.

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