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How Steelers LB Myles Jack Went from Pilot Training to Unexpected NFL Return



Steelers LB Myles Jack
Steelers linebacker Myles Jack at practice on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Myles Jack was working on the business for the hockey team he owns, the Allen Americans of the ECHL, when he got a call from his agent that the Steelers wanted him to come out of retirement and play for them. It was not an easy decision for Jack to come back, but he had been keeping up in shape, working out and playing basketball to maintain his playing weight, and when the right opportunity came along, Jack decided to leap.

“I’ve been taking care of myself, playing basketball, eating good, and I’ve been focused, so when the opportunity came up, I was like I feel good, so why not? I’m excited to be here,” Jack said.

When Myles Jack went out for retirement, there was talk that he could become a plumber or electrician. Instead, Jack decided to embrace becoming a pilot. He flew a C172 G1000 and had already done his solo flight. He was preparing for his cross-country flight to finish training when Pittsburgh called him for the opportunity. He started getting into that during his rookie season when Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny got him into flying planes. Now, he’s into it entirely.

Steelers ILB Myles Jack

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Myles Jack at OTAs on June 8, 2022. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“I got into my rookie year,” Jack said. “Paul Posluszny got me into it. I was able to get do my cross country when I got the call to come here. But I’m nearly done with it.”

However, Jack is now back with the Steelers. He felt the opportunity was right and was about 80 percent ready to go in football shape. Of course, he still needs time to ramp up, but his lofty goal is to feel prepared to play on Sunday if required. He wants to be 100 percent sure he could go.

Jack lasted just a few weeks with the Eagles, when he decided to retire from football on Aug. 20. When he did so, the Eagles put him on the reserve/retired list, retaining his rights. They decided to release him on Thursday, putting him through waivers. With Jack cleared, he is eligible to sign with any team. He said the passion for football faded for him there, but he feels like Pittsburgh is a ‘true love’ for him. There are no hard feelings after his release, either.

“I understand it’s a business and things happen,” Jack said. “You can’t get emotional or anything about it. It’s what happens and goes. But it’s true love they brought me back.”

Jack, 28, played in 15 games and made 13 starts for the Steelers last year. He led the Steelers in tackles with 104 last season, and also had three tackles for loss, three passes defended and one quarterback hit. He lacked the splash play element that this unit seems to have recaptured this year.

But what did slow him down were injuries at the end of the season. Jack had a midseason surgery and then tore his groin shortly after that. He toughed it out through the groin injury, but his availability and quality of play took a nosedive. Down back with Pittsburgh, he thinks he can reach back to the heights he was at in Jacksonville and thought he was hitting a groove before his injuries last season.

“I felt like I was figuring things out,” Jack said. “But then, boom, I had to have a surgery midseason and then I started to rush back and tore my groin. Once you tear that groin, you’re sitting down. It’s a hurt business. Injuries will get you all the time but you have to keep going. This offseason I got my body right, went training, and took care of myself.”

If healthy and ready to go, Jack can boost the room. He may not be some savant that magically becomes the elite version of him that you saw in Jacksonville. However, does he need to be that? No, the team would need him to be insurance and servicable