Tom Zbikowski saw his NFL career end abruptly in August of 2013 when his hometown Bears released him during training camp.
But for Zbikowski, the news of his release didn't hurt him as much as it would for most NFL players.
His heart wasn't in it anymore.
"Football got old to me," Zbikowski told the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh. "I enjoyed my first two years in the NFL because it was a challenge. I was playing with the best. But after awhile you don’t care whether you win or lose because you’re still getting a paycheck. I enjoyed high school and college much more."
Now, the former Buffalo Grove high school and Notre Dame star is focused on a different career where he can still have that same locker room-type bond with his peers.
Zbikowski is on the waiting list to join the Chicago Fire Department.
In the meantime, he acts as the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Blaze, the CFD football team.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of the fire department and doing what I can to can for the community," Zbikowski said. "It seems to be a close knit group whenever you're talking to these guys about the job. The football thing is just an extended part of the job."
Watch the video above to see more of Zbikowski's story.