A player's gridiron world can change in a second.
Starting at guard in the 13 games he suited up for as a rookie with Indianapolis in 2003, Steve Sciullo was just days away from the following year's season opener, when ...
"I got word that I was being released while I was eating a sandwich at lunch," Sciullo says. "We were preparing to play the Patriots, and the Colts claimed a guy and released me. So, I got released with a sandwich in my mouth. That was a lesson in the NFL there that day, 'Bring the playbook, coach wants to see you.' You just go."
It wasn't long before Sciullo learned where he'd be going since Philadelphia was quick to claim the Pittsburgh native off waivers.
"They called me up, put me on a plane, and I'm talking to (Offensive Line Coach) Juan (Castillo) that night when I land, just getting ready," Sciullo says. "We open up with the Giants and I did not dress for that game, but it was a good introduction into the Philly way.
"It was so cool to watch. Brian Dawkins was so excited, pumped up in the locker room, and going out there and just throwing his body everywhere. And the crowd was rabid. It was just an awesome atmosphere to watch football. It still is."
Earning All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly, Sciullo's experience came in handy when he made five starts for the Eagles – three at left guard and two at right guard.
"I had only played right guard in Indy, but that offseason I had been training at left guard as well," Sciullo says. "The first (start) happened to be in my hometown against the Steelers. (I had to buy 50 tickets for my family and friends) and they were in the last two rows of the stadium, but they were happy to be there and happy to see me playing.
The Eagles had a great season that year, posting a 13-3 record, winning the NFC Championship Game over Atlanta, and playing in Super Bowl XXXIX against New England.
"We really did have a great chemistry overall in the (locker) room," Sciullo says. "It's not often you get people with personalities like Donovan (McNabb), T.O., Hugh Douglas, Corey Simon, Jevon Kearse, Dawkins, (Jeremiah) Trotter. All these guys in the room, it's just amazing that all the personalities can come together to achieve a goal."
The Super Bowl would be Sciullo's last game with the Eagles and in the NFL. Injuries took a toll and he was among those released in the final cut of the following year's Training Camp.
"I had a lot of injuries in my rookie year in Indianapolis that just sort of lingered over. From college, as well," Sciullo says. "My body just really didn't have it in it any longer. I wish it did, and I wish I was able to get out there and really compete, but I was a little beat up at that point in my life.
"I got beat out because I wasn't able to prepare to play as hard as a couple of guys who were behind me. They beat me out. As a football player, you can handle that."
And while Sciullo's time in Philadelphia wasn't as long as he would have liked, it did provide some fond memories.
"I have a lot because that year was awesome," Sciullo says. "The phenomenon that was T.O. during that 2004 season was just incredible. Some of the performances he put on during that year were outer-worldly. And getting to see (Brian) Westbrook come out of his part-time duty and be the full-time starter that year, and just really dominate games, it was awesome.
"And you're playing with Donovan McNabb. You're in the huddle and you're looking to your left and your right and you've got Tra Thomas there, and Jon Runyan, Hank Fraley, (Jermane) Mayberry, and Artis (Hicks). It was just a great run. I loved it.
"But probably the best one was winning the NFC Championship against Atlanta. There was a blizzard the night before, and it was probably -2 degrees during the game. I was on the wedge for kickoff return and I remember standing out on the field during a TV timeout and just thinking, 'Oh, my God! I might freeze out here.' You're on there and the wind's whipping, it was a wild game."
Sciullo and his wife, Jessica, have a 3-year-old daughter, Alaina, and make their home in the Pittsburgh area, where he is the Safety & Security Specialist as well as the head football coach at Hampton High School in Allison Park.
"I make sure these kids are safe in the building on a day-to-day basis. There's a lot of different committees and different things I'm involved in – safety, crisis. I'm just excited to be here," Sciullo says. "I coached here for four years and then took a head coaching job at Deer Lakes High School for four years, and then came back here for these past four years."
He was recently promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach.
"We had a great year this year," Sciullo said. "We were 11-1. We rushed for over 3,000 yards. We won the section. It was good to see."
Sciullo continued, "Once you're done playing, there's no real way to capture that excitement in your life anymore. You see people struggling after playing and you understand why. I was done in 2005, and for a period of time, like three or four years, it was like, what's next? You're sad because you lost your dream. You're embarrassed because you've been the big dog where you're at, your college and stuff. And, you know, that's life.
"I just want to pass those lessons on to the kids that I'm working with every day. Sometimes they take some of the things that I say and they implement it. And sometimes they're like, 'You're crazy.' But I just want to give them the answers to the test before they take it. And hopefully, they can do their part and finish the exam on Friday nights."