As much as I would love to be out there physical

first_img“As much as I would love to be out there, physically, it’s just not going to happen anymore.”That’s not to say Leach could not perform the act of snapping, as he said he was on target with all his tries and feels like he could probably get the job done if he had to. It’s just, he understands that his body cannot withstand the rigors of playing again.He barely made it through the last couple of years.“It’s been a struggle the last few years physically, but I knew how good the team was and I wanted to be part of something special — and we got really close last year,” he said. “But at the end of last year, I had some things going on with my back and things just getting worse to where I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play a few games toward the end of the year last year, and unfortunately those issues are still there.“I would have loved to have done it again, but it just wasn’t in the cards.” – / 22 LISTEN: Mike Leach, Former Cardinals long snapper Your browser does not support the audio element. Sunday afternoon, Leach’s phone started blowing up.“I was caddying for my son in a little golf tournament down about an hour away, got done and looked at my phone and I had 24 text messages, and I thought either somebody’s sick or something happened football-wise,” he told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “And sure enough, fortunately, it was the latter.“I drove home and was thinking, doing a lot of soul-searching as I was driving.”Leach said his 10-year-old son would have loved for him to come back, and was trying to pump him up, saying he could do it.“But I got home and it was tough — I was really racking my brain and trying to figure out if I could do it again,” he added.On Tuesday, the Cardinals released Canaday — an undrafted rookie free agent — and on Wednesday signed former Denver Bronco and Chicago Bear Aaron Brewer to take over at the spot.Leach, 39, played 16 NFL seasons, and though Cardinals coach Bruce Arians once said his wife Julie would not let him come back, he believes she would have been 100 percent behind him if he chose to return to the team.He definitely thought about it. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Mike Leach was the Cardinals’ long snapper from 2009 to 2015, and really, no one ever talked about him.That was a good thing.His position is such that the only time anyone really notices is if a mistake is made, which is why Kameron Canaday, his replacement with Arizona, was talked about quite a bit through the first three weeks of the season.A low snap in Week 1 may have cost the Cardinals a game-winning field goal, and a high snap in Week 3 led to a Buffalo touchdown in a loss to the Bills. 0 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals long snapper Mike Leach warms up before the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) “It’s been tough to watch, to be honest with you,” he said of the Cardinals’ struggles. “Even when I stopped playing last year, I still tried to be involved and help the new guys out who were in camp — been over there this spring — went out for a week in training camp this summer.“You know, I still feel invested in this team and love the guys on the team and the coaches and the front office and everyone, and it was tough to watch. I’m not going to lie and say there wasn’t a part of me that was, ‘Man, could I do this? Could I go back?’”Leach said he was hoping it would never come to that, as he wanted Canaday to play well and solidify his spot on the team.That did not happen, and after Sunday’s performance, Leach admitted he dipped his toe into the water.“I’m not going to lie to you, I picked up a ball and I threw pads on and I threw a helmet on and went outside Sunday night and snapped balls against a tree, like I did 16 years ago when I was trying to get a job,” he said. “And although it felt alright snapping, the next day all the back and the hip and the knees and the shoulders and everything that caused me to retire in the first place were still all there. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img