When Aaron Smith retired from the Steelers, he knew that football would never be out of his blood. He had been playing the game for as long as he could remember, and he knew that desire to go back out on the field would never go away.
"It never leaves," said Smith. "I don't think it will ever be gone. Anytime I see football my itch is always going to be to want to go out there and play."
Realistically, though, Smith knows that isn't going to happen. So this year the former defensive end did the next best thing. He interned during the start of training camp with the player personnel department, learning the ins and outs of scouting and player evaluation.
"It's unique," said Smith. "I really have enjoyed it. To look at it from the other end of the hourglass is kind of neat. And the scouting guys I have been working with have been very helpful.
"It's kind of weird watching practice. Sometimes you find yourself watching it like a player and not a scout. That has been a struggle for me a little bit."
Smith doesn't know if scouting is in his future, but for now he took advantage of every minute and soaked in as much information as he could.
"I have enjoyed it," said Smith. "I don't know, if the opportunity ever lends itself we will see. I want to get a feel for it and see how I feel at the end of the process and then go from there.
"I still think I should be a player. I don't know if that ever leaves a player. Joe (Greene) did it for so long. I don't know if he ever got out of thinking like a player. I know there are a lot of ways to be involved, I am just not sure of this is the way for me yet or not."