Returning home after a successful pro football career, this Byron native has made himself comfy. Discover what this Super Bowl champ is up to now.
Everett Stine smiles whenever he thinks of Sean Considine, one of his former players at Byron High School. Stine coached Byron football for 37 years, until he retired in 2003. During that time, his Tigers made the playoffs 15 times, and won one championship. He coached many talented players over the years, but something stuck out about Considine.
“Sean was off-the-charts,” says Stine. “He was a great football player, even as a freshman. But as great as he was, he’s an even better person. I coached my whole life and was fortunate enough to have coached Sean Considine.”
Considine went on to achieve football greatness. In 2013, the Byron, Ill., native wrapped up an eight-year NFL career, as a standout special teams player for the Baltimore Ravens. Thanks, in part, to a big special teams play, Considine and the Ravens edged the San Francisco 49ers in a 34-31 thriller, to win the NFL championship.
“I’m pretty lucky to end up with a Super Bowl ring on my finger,” he says. “What a great way to cap off my career.”
Considine retired after the season and came back home to Byron with wife Nicole and their five children, to be near family and friends.
“I knew it was time to hang it up,” he says. “We just didn’t have the network of people around us that we have here in Byron. Football was awesome, but we needed more stability in our lives to raise our five kids – 6-year-old Caden, 2-year-old triplets Cohen, Corben and Hadley, and 7-month-old Caiven.”
Considine was an impact player in high school, where the Tigers won the state championship during his senior season in 1999. As a running back, Considine set school records with 4,010 career rushing yards, 34 touchdowns in a season and 65 touchdowns in a career.
“In high school, he was known more for his offense than defense, but he was great on both sides of the ball,” says Stine. “He had skills as a sophomore that no one else had. When we moved him up to the varsity team, the first time he carried the ball in a game he ran 80 yards for a touchdown. But what I admire most about Sean is his attitude. It’s the same today as it was back then. The only thing that ever mattered to him was the team.”
From Byron, Considine starred at the University of Iowa, and was selected by Philadelphia in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In addition to the Eagles, Considine played for Jacksonville, Carolina, Arizona and Baltimore during his career.
“It was pretty surreal,” says Considine. “I’ve always been a realist, and maybe I was selling myself short, but I didn’t get caught up on big dreams. I was the type of kid who just put his head down and went to work. It didn’t happen overnight. I always worked to get better and it translated into a decent NFL career. I always went to work every day like it was my last day in the league. But I had a lot of help from people who believed in me.”
Considine grew up a diehard Green Bay fan. Early in his career with Philadelphia, he got the chance to play against the Packers and quarterback Brett Favre at historic Lambeau Field – a place he visited as a 10-year-old with his father, Rick, to watch their beloved team play. Although Considine’s Eagles lost a close game to the Packers, it’s an experience he won’t ever forget. “I’ve never been so emotional before a game,” he says. “Running out onto the field, I had such an adrenaline rush.”
But the best memory was the 2012 season – a magical year for both Considine and the Ravens, led by quarterback Joe Flacco and linebacker Ray Lewis. Considine, a defensive back, played mostly special teams, a unit that was ranked tops in the NFL that season.
“We might not have been the best or most talented team going into the playoffs, but man, it was a close-knit group of guys who loved to play, and did whatever it took to win,” Considine says. “It wasn’t always pretty, but we found a way.”
During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Considine savored every moment that surrounded one of America’s biggest spectacles – team gatherings, interviews with the national media, even a bizarre 30-minute power outage during the game.
Each player was given 15 tickets to the game, which Considine gave to family and Stine, his high school coach. Along with the familiar faces in the stands, another 40 family members and friends made the trip to New Orleans, without tickets, just to soak up the festive atmosphere.
“It was a lifetime experience,” says Stine, who also attended playoff games in Denver and New England that year. “Sean wanted all the people who meant something to him to be there. He wouldn’t let us pay for anything. That’s the kind of kid he is.”
These days, Considine and Nicole are busy running their very active household. In addition, Considine has partnered with Headon’s Fine Meats and Catering in Creston, Ill., to open a mobile meat market called Headon & Considine’s Market. Last year, the meat wagon made appearances in Byron, Dixon and Rockford; Considine plans to bring the market to festivals and sporting events in the future.
“I feel like I did when I walked on to Iowa’s football team,” Considine says. “I’m starting all over again. But I enjoy a good challenge.”
Instead of preparing for the upcoming season, along with other NFL players, Considine now watches games from the comfort of his home. Observing the speed and size of the players on TV has given him an even greater appreciation for the determination and effort it takes to reach the professional ranks.
“Every second I spent in the NFL was one more second than I ever dreamed about,” he says. “To do the things that I did, to meet the people I did, and to win the games that I did – I feel very privileged to have had that time.”