ALLEN PARK, Mich. --For the first time in over a decade, the Detroit Lions will have a new left tackle on offense.
Jeff Backus, who had been a starter since 2001 when he was a first-round pick coming out of Michigan, announced his retirement Thursday afternoon.
Backus, a very quiet and private man, did it his way, by releasing a statement through the club:
Today, Ive come to the conclusion that its time for me to hang up my cleats and retire, Backus said. Its a bittersweet moment, but Im content knowing I gave everything I had, played as hard as I could and tried my best to live up to the standards I believe in.
While fans at times mocked him, calling him Sack-us, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Georgia native was admired sincerely by nearly everyone else around the organization for his hard work, professionalism and dedication.
Team president Tom Lewand said he will remember Backus for his superhuman pain tolerance.
He was all about getting the job done, Lewand told reporters.