David Diehl has announced his retirement from the NFL today after an 11 year career.
Diehl, a two-time Super Bowl champion, played his entire NFL career with the New York Giants after they selected him in the fifth round of the 2003 draft. He was a rock on an offensive line that was vastly underrated prior to the Giants championship runs, but he, and the rest of the line, began to be more widely recognized for their ability after the Giants became more successful as a team (such is the life of a lineman). Diehl received a Pro Bowl selection in the 2009 after being named by the Associated Press to the All-NFL second team after the 2008 season. Diehl was a durable lineman, starting all 16 games in 8 of his 11 seasons and never playing less than 11 games in any season.
Perhaps what the team will miss most about him, however, will be his leadership. Diehl always seemed to be a vocal presence in the locker room. As a fifth round pick he was not projected to be the most talented lineman, and I don’t think he was ever the most talented guy on his own line, but he was a heart and soul type of player who will be difficult to replace both on and off of the field. Linemen very rarely get their due, but Diehl deserves the respect and admiration of the Giants fan base.