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Chris Hoke will retire

Chris Hoke AP

The first, expected change to the Steelers defense will officially take place Thursday. Defensive lineman Chris Hoke will announce his retirement at a press conference held by the Steelers.

Hoke was a classic, valuable role player for an entire decade. He joined the organization in 2001 as an undrafted free agent and remained a backup for most of his career.

Hoke only started more than three games in a season once (2003), but he was the type of unsung 3-4 defensive lineman that the Steelers defense is built upon. Hoke had a neck injury this season and his retirement is no surprise.

The Steelers aging defense faces a lot of questions this offseason, with the futures of Casey Hampton, James Farrior, and Aaron Smith all uncertain.

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21 Responses to “Chris Hoke will retire”
  1. podevil says: Jan 25, 2012 3:46 PM

    Good luck in your retirement Hokie! Thank you for so many years of dedication! We will miss you!

  2. trbowman says: Jan 25, 2012 3:52 PM

    Please take Whines with you.

  3. colinsnooks says: Jan 25, 2012 4:16 PM

    Whenever I see this guy in a Madden game it makes be laugh because his name is C.Hoke.

  4. cityofchampyinz says: Jan 25, 2012 4:18 PM

    17-1 as a starter. Cant argue with that.

    Good luck, you will be missed!

  5. citizenstrange says: Jan 25, 2012 4:34 PM

    The heart of a champion who gave everything he had including his health to the game. This is the type of player the NFLPA is really for.

    Best wishes and good luck!

  6. melikefootball says: Jan 25, 2012 4:38 PM

    Thanks Hoke, you did a good job and will never forget how nice you treated the fans at training camp.

  7. johntonioholmes says: Jan 25, 2012 4:53 PM

    The guy was tremendous in the 2-gap role. Whenever he started for Hampton or came in on rotation, the D-line never missed a beat.

    He was a big reason for those defenses being tough against the run.

    I never saw him throw a center and guard into the backfield like Hampton has, but when you’re playing 2-gap, you don’t need to.

    I wish him the best.

  8. pozone6031 says: Jan 25, 2012 5:06 PM

    Hokie is a classy guy and was a very hard worker. Best of EVERYTHING!

  9. cmich2006 says: Jan 25, 2012 5:08 PM

    Good luck and God speed Hokie…thanks for giving it all you had every game…enjoy your retirement.

  10. shotgunformation5wide says: Jan 25, 2012 5:13 PM

    I still have my 2008 Band of Brothers Super Bowl year in review DVD to remember you by!!! :) My heart still skips a beat when I watch it. The marvelous 4th quarter comeback against Dallas. Who can forget James Harrison’s …oh wait … I’m rambling. Thanks for everything Chris. :) Good luck in your future endeavors.

  11. steelhammer92 says: Jan 25, 2012 5:25 PM

    The only reason he didn’t start was because he had a HOF caliber DT playing in front of him. On most other teams he’d be a full-time starter.

    I am not sure that the article is correct. He started for Hampton in I believe every game in 2004 after Hampton tore his ACL vs the Cowboys in week 6. The Steelers defense that year finished #1 in total yards, rushing yards, points against, and 4th in passing yards.

    Great career Hoke. Congrats on the two rings.

  12. Deb says: Jan 25, 2012 5:29 PM

    It says a lot about the quality of your play when you’re a d-lineman who’s started more than three games only once in a decade but every fan still knows your name. Hoke is a quintessential Steeler, and I’m glad he’s retiring in the black and gold. He will be missed.

    Good luck, Chris!!!

  13. steeelfann says: Jan 25, 2012 5:51 PM

    “The Steelers aging defense faces a lot of questions this offseason, with the futures of Casey Hampton, James Farrior, and Aaron Smith all uncertain.”

    Really? No, not uncertain. They are all gone.
    Certain.

  14. steeelfann says: Jan 25, 2012 5:51 PM

    Aging defense? All defenses are aging. I just aged typing this.

  15. choppinwood says: Jan 25, 2012 5:58 PM

    I never had any reservations when the Hokester was in there. He is a true gamer and one terrific character. I’m glad he is retiring a Steeler.

    I hope he does his traditional Hokey Pokey dance one last time at his press conference.

    Thanks for your contributions over the years, Chris and good luck in your retirement. May the rest of your life`s work be as rich and fulfilling as your NFL career.

    Good luck.

  16. mr4thand1 says: Jan 25, 2012 6:11 PM

    Well done, Chris……..Steeler Nation SALUTES you!!!!

  17. lilrob10201 says: Jan 25, 2012 6:14 PM

    How old was this man when he entered the NFL ?I was thinking he should be more young if he was drafted in 2004.

  18. yogikenobi says: Jan 25, 2012 6:32 PM

    It’s good to see so many people realize just how valuable he was. Career backup? Maybe, but guys like Hoke, Charlie Batch, Larry Foote have been a huge part of the continued success. Those types of players are hard to find, which is why they have all stuck around so long.

  19. holeinone09 says: Jan 25, 2012 6:36 PM

    Chris was very dependable, and to me was a 1-A player, having to play right behind some really high caliber players. He probably could have started on many teams. I was never concerned when he had to play, unlike how I feel with some of the shuffling OL players.

    Good luck Hokie, all the best!

  20. steelcurtainn says: Jan 25, 2012 7:30 PM

    Thanks Hokey Pokey! Great Contributor as a back up to Big Snack and 17-1 as a starter. Enjoy those 2 superbowl rings. Steeler nation enjoyed them 2 superbowl wins during your time.

  21. goldfishshoes says: Jan 25, 2012 9:58 PM

    1. Hoke is older than most 2001 grads because he did a Mormon mission while in school (BYU grad).

    2. He started 10 games in 2004, not 2003, which is significant because the 2003 season was a disaster (although Hampton made the Pro Bowl that year) while the team went 15-1 in Hoke’s only season as a starter (due to injury).

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