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50 Questions for Evan Mathis

On Jan. 2, Evan Mathis bid adieu to the NFL in typical Mathis fashion – with an ironic post on Twitter. "How do I announce my retirement?" the former Eagles guard tweeted. Mathis confirmed that he will no longer play football to The Inquirer and agreed to answer questions, per usual, via email. Most of the responses ended up in a story, but here's the full Q&A, edited only for content:

1. Why did you decide to retire now?

I almost retired after the Super Bowl. After eventually committing to playing one more year, I also committed to it being my last.

2. Do you want to officially retire as an Eagle? I'll put in a good word with Howie Roseman, if so.

I'm officially retiring as a member of the Island of Misfit Toys. I don't really understand the whole retiring as a member of a certain team thing. The only thing I've seen anyone get from that is a press conference. Although, Philly will always feel the most home of all my NFL stops.

3. Was your retirement related in any way to your health?

Yes it was. I battled some serious injuries during the Super Bowl season. Winning it all made the sacrifice worth it but it really made me question if I wanted to go through all of it again. I felt incredible during the first game with the Cardinals only to have someone fall on my foot and start a domino effect of injuries that led to my eventual demise in October. I also don't want any more brain damage.

4. Could you change your mind?

I weighed 310.54 pounds on January 1st. In April I plan on being in the 260s. If I change my mind, I'm not playing offensive line.

5. Any fear about your post-football life?

The only fear I have is whether or not CTE will creep up on me. Other than that, I'm excited about life.

6. What are your plans?

I've been able to spend more time with my family, which is extremely important to me. Other than that, I'm really good at staying busy.

7. Seriously, what are your plans?

Trying to find high end vintage sports card collections from the 50s and earlier has always been a hobby of mine. If anyone leads me to big collections I pay nice finder's fees. A lot of card factories were based in Pennsylvania so if you know anyone sitting on a bunch of old sets or inventory, send them my way. I'm a nerd for that stuff.

I have plenty of future plans and will spend no time just staring at the wall unless the situation calls for it, which sometimes it does.

8. You own a training facility in Scottsdale. Will you work there? If so, what will you do?

We are going to start doing online personal training so we can write programs for people in other parts of the world or country. Everything is done from an app on your phone. My team is doing my program now and I'm going in four days a week and training myself using the app. I'm making myself a guinea pig for the process so I can work out all the kinks before offering it to others.

9. Have you ever thought about training other NFL players?

At Zone, we have been training professional athletes along with common folk like you and me since we opened in 2010. I do not train anyone as I'm not qualified to do so. When I'm there, I'm always available for input and I have worked with guys before but training isn't really my thing.

10. Do you think there are a larger number of NFL players using performance-enhancing drugs than the number of suspensions would suggest?

I get asked that question a lot and I'd have to say no. I'm sure there are plenty of guys that would do it if they knew how but the testing is so advanced that I don't know how they could pull it off.

11. You played at about 300 pounds during your career. Will you be one of those retiring offensive lineman that the next time we see you, you weigh 250 pounds?

I'm headed straight for the 260s and will reevaluate from there.

12. Any desire to work in sports media? 

No, your job is safe.

13. You have said before that you will write. Write what?

I will write a book, I don't know what it will be about. I will also write a screenplay, and I don't know what it will be about either. Since I don't have a deadline, I'm not stressing about it yet.

14. What did you think about Chip Kelly getting fired by the 49ers after one season?

I didn't really put much thought into it.

15. You sort of predicted his end when you said last offseason that his offense had become too "vanilla" in Philly. He had a bad roster, but also didn't change much in San Francisco. What ultimately ended Kelly's run in the NFL?

Chip is a smart guy but he continually failed to evolve.

16. Did you talk with Kelly when the Cardinals faced the 49ers this past season? If so, what did you say? What did he say?

We played them on October 6th but I limped off the field in the 2nd quarter to get an x-ray. There was a vertical crack at the bottom of my tibia and I was done so I wasn't on the field after the game to give him a hug and a kiss.

17. Do you regret the way you handled your contract dispute with the Eagles?

Absolutely not.

18. What do you remember about coming to Philly during the 2011 "Dream Team" offseason?

I had trained my ass off for around 30 weeks straight through the lockout and was in the best shape of my life. Philly's one-year, minimum offer was the only offer I had. My back was against the wall and I came in on a mission. I was excited about playing for a coach of Howard Mudd's caliber and the fact that everyone would have a blank slate since it was his first year there. Howie [Roseman] came up to me before my first practice and said, "Are you going to make me look smart?" to which I replied, "I'm going to make you look like a mother [bleeping] genius."

19. What was your best season in Philly? Why?

2011-2013 were all really great years for me because I was playing my best and going into battle with a lot of guys who I really respected. 2013 was the most accolade filled year and we made it to the playoffs so I probably had the most fun that year.

20. What kind of influence did Andy Reid have on your career?

Andy is the type of coach that everybody wants to go out and play their best for no matter what. That can't be said of all coaches.

21. What kind of influence did Howard Mudd have on your career?

Howard had the bigger impact on my career than anyone else. He taught me how to play football.

22. What's it like playing for the Eagles in Philly?

There's a lot of pressure from the media and fanbase in Philly and it probably overwhelms a lot of guys. It was fun for me to play well and earn the respect of people who don't pass it out easily. Twitter helped with that too.

23. Who's the best NFL coach you ever had?

Howard Mudd

24. Who's the best teammate you ever had?

This question is impossible. I've played with too many guys over my 12 years that were just awesome dudes.

25. What's your best NFL memory?

Winning the Super Bowl.

26. What's your worst NFL memory?

It's hard to say. Everything that happened was just part of my story that was leading me to whatever was next.

27. What could the NFL do better?

The Substances of Abuse policy could evolve a little.

28. What can you now say about the NFL that you couldn't say as a player?

Stop suspending guys for marijuana. Seriously, stop it.

29. What can you now say about the Eagles that you couldn't say when you played for them?

I miss you guys. We had the best dice game.

30. What's it like being secular in a NFL locker room?

I like to avoid religion and politics when multiple people are listening.

31. What's it like playing for a secular coach vs. a religious (presumably, Christian) one?

Literally the only difference is whether or not you pray before and after games.

32. What can divide a locker room the most?

Poor play.

33. Do you think Jason Peters is a Hall of Fame tackle? If so, why?

Yes, without a doubt. He is a very physically gifted player that has put very good play on tape for a very long time.

34. Did you watch much of the Eagles this past season?

I only caught a game or two.

35. If so, what did you think of them? Carson Wentz? Doug Pederson?

I liked what I saw from the young QB and I liked the play calling. I think they have a lot of potential.

36. Any regrets about your career?

I should have been a defensive end. I also often wonder what it would have been like if I figured my [stuff] out in Year 1 as opposed to Year 7. And I do regret not being able to stay healthy for the Cardinals this past season.

37. Any interest in coaching? If so, at what level?

None at all.

38. Do you own any stock in Pro Football Focus?

No, but I wish I did because they have grown exponentially since they first started. They helped reveal what I was doing on the field playing a position that's really hard to follow. I appreciate the analytics they bring to the game.

39. What's your best Peyton Manning story?

This one time we were hanging out in Santa Clara and we won the Super Bowl.

40. Did you find it difficult to relate to many of your teammates in the NFL? If so, why?

No, I'm a chameleon.

41. What's one of the most under-reported stories in the NFL?

All of the good many players do with their charities and giving back to the communities goes under-reported. All the [bull] gets sensationalized and over-reported.

42. Do you think the NFL is in decline, as the fall in TV ratings would suggest?

I doubt it.

43. How would describe your career?

A roller-coaster of relentlessness.

44. Do you think there is a way to quantify an offensive lineman's production?

Yeah, by paying attention.

45. Would you let your kids play football?

I would let them know why I wouldn't want them to play but the choice is theirs. I have two girls right now and neither of them seem to want to play football.

46. What's your favorite thing about Philly?

The food.

47. Who do you think will win this year's Super Bowl?

The Falcons were my sleeper pick but I have no clue. I could see any of the remaining four teams pulling it off. I'll have to make some decisions soon so I can place some bets in Vegas this weekend.

48. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

What do you mean? African or European Swallow?

49. What didn't I ask that I should have?

"Hey Evan, are you okay with FIFTY [bleeping] questions?"

50. Any parting shots?

I love you Philly, thanks for some of the greatest years of my life.