Sean Considine wasn't going to be allowed to get away during the 2005 NFL Draft. The Eagles wanted and got him.
"I was just really happy and relieved that I got drafted. Although I wanted to play in the NFL, I never really knew if it was going to be a realistic goal for myself," Considine says. "I'll never forget the morning when (Philadelphia's then-Head Coach) Andy Reid called me. They had the first pick of the fourth round, which they had traded to get, and Andy got me on the phone about five minutes before their pick went in and held me on the phone just in case something crazy went on with the trade.
"My parents and family and friends who were at the house are all just ecstatic. And to get a chance to go play for a storied franchise like the Philadelphia Eagles and a great coaching staff like the one that was present was a great opportunity."
A walk-on at the University of Iowa who became an honorable mention All-Big Ten free safety as well as an Academic All-American as a senior, Considine had the opportunity to learn even more as a rookie.
"The defensive back room had incredible leadership. Starting with Brian Dawkins," Considine says. "And I'd say he and Sheldon Brown were both just great guys to watch and emulate the way they carried themselves as professionals.
"Not only how they played on the field, but also the things they did behind the scenes and in the weight room and film study. All the leadership they provided in those areas was an instrumental part of my development."
Considine made his NFL debut playing on special teams when the Eagles met the Chiefs on October 2, 2005. The 37-31 victory is memorable not only because it was his first game, but also because ...
"I remember they had a kick returner, punt returner named Dante Hall that was a big threat," Considine says with a laugh regarding the All-Pro return specialist. "So being a core special teams player, that was an exciting game and a great opportunity to get out there and compete against one the best."
Five games after his debut, Considine dislocated a shoulder and finished the year on Injured Reserve. He started at strong safety more than half of the games the following season and the first eight games of the 2007 campaign before a sprained shoulder landed him back on IR. How did he keep a positive attitude through those setbacks?
"To hurt my shoulder in the first week of Training Camp as a rookie and then having to end that year on I.R. when I had to get my shoulder repaired, and then to come back as a second-year veteran and compete to the point where I earned the starting job, and then to have the same injury happen eight games into my third year, it was definitely disappointing," Considine says.
"But I also had the perspective that it's part of the game of football. I had two choices. I could sit there and dwell on it and let it affect my career and possibly end my career or I could find ways to continue to be a valuable asset to the organization.
"When Quintin Mikell stepped in as my replacement, his career took off. I considered Quintin a great teammate and a friend of mine. I was happy for him. And at the same time, I had to find ways to contribute and be a valuable asset to the Philadelphia Eagles. Fortunately for me, I had never really left my leadership role as a core special teams guy. And to help the team win was to really focus back in on special teams.
"That's kind of how I finished up my fourth year in Philadelphia. We had a great year and made the playoffs, and special teams was a big part of that. So it's just part of life. Things don't always go the way that they're planned. But at the same time, you've got to find a way to fight through adversity and make the best of it."
Spending four of his eight seasons in the NFL as an Eagle, Considine signed with Jacksonville as a free agent 2009. And after two years with the Jaguars, he spent the 2011 campaign with Carolina and Arizona, before finishing his career in Baltimore in 2012, where he helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII.
Living in those cities and playing in front of their fans, Considine and his wife, Nicole, noticed a difference from where they began.
"Philadelphia Eagles fans are very passionate. I think they're the toughest fans that I've ever played around as far as their passion and how they push the players. And the media is a tough media," Considine says. "But with that said, it's a very storied franchise and it was a great place to play and cut my teeth in the NFL. We have great memories from not only playing for the Eagles, but also living in the area. Met a lot of great people. It was a great experience for us."
Retiring in 2013, Considine has gone from the football field to the financial field and is an LPL financial planner with Byron Wealth Management in his hometown of Byron, Illinois.
"When I was a kid, I used to say I wanted to be a stockbroker. And then, of course, when you make it to the NFL and get paid a decent amount of money at an early portion of your life, I started working with financial planners and wealth management groups," Considine says.
"When we ultimately decided to move back to Byron and raise our five kids: Caden, Cohen, Corben, Hadley, and Caiven around my parents, it was kind of a nice fit for me. It allows me to live in a small town in Northern Illinois, but also scale and build a business where I can reach back out to some former players or teammates, relationships that I built all across the country.
"Technology has made it much more accessible to people as far as Zoom calls and stuff like that. So it's a good opportunity for me to get back into something that I'm familiar with and have a true passion for and at the same time, work with some of the people that I've met throughout the country."
Considine also works with people closer to home who may or may not have a checking account. For the past six years, he's been the defensive coordinator for Byron High School's football team.
"I love teaching football. At some point in your life just because of the nature of football and the physicality of it, you really can't play it any longer. But with that said, to be able to be around football and be around the competition and just the environment of the game, I'm just very thankful that I have the opportunity to volunteer as the defensive coordinator for my alma mater," Considine says.
"My best friend from high school (Jeff Boyer) is the head coach, so he kind of runs the offense and I get to take over the defense and share and teach some of the things I learned over the 22 years that I played football. It's a great opportunity for me to stay involved with football and also give back to the game that has given so much to me and my family."