Former Steelers DB Tyrone Carter epitomizes resiliency

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrone Carter won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his toughest battles didn't come on the gridiron.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans should remember Tyrone Carter. He wore No. 23 and was a contributor for the Steelers for their Super Bowl 40 and 43 victories. Maybe most remembered for his dread locks that hung out of his helmet, Carter played in the NFL for 11 seasons.

Life in the NFL can be difficult, but in 2004 Carter's life was altered forever when his wife was paralyzed from the chest down in an ATV accident.

Carter continued to play for the Steelers during this time, and was very appreciative of how Dan Rooney insisted that his wife see only the best doctors around and covered all expenses, but when doctors told him that his wife would never walk again, life in the NFL didn't seem so bad.

In an article published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Carter details how such a freak accident can change someone's outlook on life.

"I broke down more than her," he told the paper. "I just couldn't believe that this happened to her. The accident allowed me to really appreciate life more."

At a time when his NFL career was ending, Carter and his wife were now faced with raising their two children, but not one to be idle, Carter re-invented himself. He had considered going into the coaching realm, but while helping a few athletes train for upcoming football seasons, he saw an avenue that could help him give back to the game of football.

Carter now focuses solely on athletes in Minnesota, where he attended college and met his wife, in hopes of bringing better athletes to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. "I got heart for my school, and I want to do whatever I can to help them."

On top of training athletes, Carter has also held camps and had former NFL players like Randy Moss attend and lend a hand.

Carter's story shows that although there are times in one's life where things look bleak and near impossible, keep your head up and work hard and things can work out.

"I let them [players Carter works with] know that your situation doesn't dictate your future." "I had some bumps along the way. I messed up. I was a bonehead. But I still kept that tunnel vision. That's the message I try to get across to these kids."

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