In what seems to be a trend this off season, former Steelers QB Kordell “Slash” Stewart came to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to formally announce his retirement from the NFL and end his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
I say, “what seems to be a trend” because so many big names from the last decade have either retired on their own or were released and decided to just call it a career. Aaron Smith and Hines Ward have already had their press conferences, and it appears that James Farrior may also be leaning that way this offseason too.
Slash, the nickname given to him by Bill Cowher because of his multi dimensional talents as a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and even punter.
Regardless of how you feel about Stewart now or during his time in Pittsburgh, the dude did some positive things and had unbelievable potential that just never fully panned out. I often wonder just how good he could have been if the “slash” role didn’t turn into just a quarterback role.
Dan Gigler of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette mentioned this about Steward today:
A second round draft pick in 1995, Stewart played eight seasons in Pittsburgh. He rose to fame during his first two seasons when he saw game action as a wide receiver, a quarterback, a running back and even a punter, earning him the nickname “Slash.”
He became the team’s starting quarterback in 1997, leading the team to the AFC Championship. In 2001, he was the AFC Offensive Player of the Year, the team MVP and a Pro Bowl selection.
Stewart also was a target of rumors about his personal life and, according to him, death threats during seasons in which he struggled.
Of returning to Pittsburgh today for his “retirement,” Stewart said: “It’s not closure in a negative way, it’s closure in a positive way … I had a great time doing it. It’s about the experience.”