In 2012, the Detroit Lions selected the wildly productive Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round of the draft. Broyles totaled 32 catches for 420 yards and two touchdowns with the Lions, but his promising career was cut short due to some devastating injuries. Nonetheless, Broyles is a busy man who at just 29-years-old, looks back fondly on his time playing football.
Ryan was kind enough to speak with me about his time with the Lions, along with some of his thoughts on the current team and coaching staff.
MU: What have you been up to these days? How are you feeling?
Broyles: Really, a little bit of everything. We have been on a couple family trips this holiday season to see family and for leisure. We are in the gym daily and our little 2-year-old is keeping us busy! On the work side, we are managing our rental portfolio and overseeing construction of our new restaurant on Oklahoma’s campus at the moment.
MU: How would you characterize your NFL career? Do you have any regrets or long-term concerns? Would you consider playing again?
Broyles: My career was short and sweet. Although, I feel I made the most of my playing days. Football has been a part of my life for the past 20 years so I’ll always miss it, but my playing days are over. Believe it or not, I don’t miss meetings or the practice field but I’ll always miss that feeling of running out onto the field in front of 60,000-plus fans!
MU: Is it true you still follow the Lions very closely and what are your thoughts on the season?
Broyles: I am a diehard fan. The Lions organization gave me the opportunity to fulfill one of my biggest dreams, and that was to play in the NFL! I watch them weekly. A lot of my friends are still on the team as well as others around the league. I think they have something special going. They are playing competitive football.
MU: You played with quarterback Matthew Stafford, who’s come into his own over the past few seasons. What are your thoughts on the nine-year veteran QB and your experiences playing with him?
Broyles: Matt Stafford is a great QB. He takes a lot of the heat when losing but he is very consistent. He is a special player physically. We’ve all seen him make great plays, play hurt, overcome the negativity and that says a lot about him. I did enjoy playing with him. He’s one of the more fired up quarterbacks I’ve had the opportunity of playing with.
MU: There was an ESPN story about you living a frugal life and your impressive investment portfolio. Can you talk a little bit about that and if you still live with that mindset.
Broyles: Oh, the ESPN finance story! That story has been going around still. Seems like every day I get a message about it. You know, it’s a good thing that the story received so much attention. The story needed to be heard and I do believe it is something that not just athletes can learn from. I learned a lot of the principles from many savvy finance guys. I did not invent the things I talked about, I just followed the lead of the wise and those that have come before me. Once you learn the traits of some of the richest people in the world, you would be foolish not to implement them in your life.
MU: Head coach Jim Caldwell has gotten a lot of criticism lately. You didn’t spend much time with Caldwell during your career, but do you have any thoughts on him as a coach?
Broyles: Coach Caldwell may be the best coach I have had the opportunity to play for. The NFL is not forgiving at all and the players are not the only ones that feel the heat. I think Coach Caldwell is one of the better things that has happened for this franchise in quite some time.
MU: What is something that you learned from your time in the league?
Broyles: The NFL stands for “Not For Long” is one the main things I learned from my time in the league. It’s a kids game that very few get the opportunity to play at that level. Enjoy it, grind, and cherish the moments!
Thank you to Ryan Broyles for taking the time to talk with us here at Full Press Lions!