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Who Is Quinn Pitcock?

Quinn Pitcock estimates it’s been 10 years since he was excited about the start of a football season.

After walking away from the game two years ago, after battling depression and a video game addiction, after becoming, as he puts it, a hermit and tuning out the world for a year, Pitcock is back on the field in a Seahawks uniform.

Unlike the last time he played the game, he’s having fun.

Pitcock last played in the NFL in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts. Pitcock, an All-American defensive tackle as a senior at Ohio State, went to the Colts as a third-round pick and played nine games as a rookie. The Colts thought Pitcock would be a big part of their future, but then Pitcock shocked everyone by abruptly retiring at the start of training camp.

“It had been going on for years, back to high school,” said Pitcock, who signed with the Seahawks Wednesday night. “I was having a tough time going to camp. I didn’t think I was good enough mentally for the team. I thought it was best for the team and myself at the time because I wasn’t mentally ready for the game. Looking back, I wasn’t, but I wish I would have been not so stubborn and gotten some help. But that’s in the past, I’m here now and I’m happy with what’s going on.”

It took Pitcock a year of solitude before he finally reached out for help. Following his unexpected departure from the game, Pitcock retreated to his Indianapolis apartment and found comfort in video games.

“I cast myself away from everybody and became almost a hermit,” he said. “I was a hermit for a year, and no one knew where I was at. I just sat in my apartment and just did nothing.

“It got to the point where I just pushed everybody away and I ended up using video games as my out. I got sucked into that. I got lost to the world, and it took me a while to get myself back, get back in society.”

Pitcock credits family and friends for helping him start his comeback, and later the help of the NFL Players Association to provide him with professional help with what he described as mild depression.

He has known for a while that he wanted to return to football, but Pitcock didn’t want to come back until he was in shape both physically and mentally, which he now says he is.

“Finally you just have an awakening and say, ‘What am I doing?’” he said. “You just look at yourself in the mirror. I got to the point where I broke and burned many video games trying to quit. Just talking to somebody and really getting my feelings out has gotten me to where I am. I used to be a quiet guy and now I’m more open.”

Part of that openness will include trying to help others who are battling mental illness and are afraid, like he was, to reach out for help.

“That’s what I found out later on,” he said. “A lot of athletes do deal with depression and anxiety and a lot of issues that doesn’t really get covered as much. Being an alpha male, you don’t want to show your weakness. I just want to get more people more open to asking for help, because no one great got anywhere by themselves, they always need help, someone to get you there. That was my biggest problem, I always wanted to do it on my own, and now I’m open to everybody helping me get to where I want to be.”

Pitcock knows he is by no means a lock to win a starting job, let alone a spot on the roster, but for now he is enjoying every moment of his comeback. During Thursday’s practice, he was taking reps with the second-team defense, and said getting back in pads and back to hitting was a welcome change.

During the past year he spent trying to get back to this point, one of the most important changes in Pitcock’s life was realizing that he just needed to get back to having fun. The support of family and friends and the time spent with psychiatrists has been important, but so too has the time spent doing flips off a diving board.

“I got back to my younger kid,” He said. “I started having fun. I got to the point where I was so worried about how everything would affect football. ‘I can’t do a dive off the diving board because I may get hurt.’ I went back to my inner child, I’m having fun now.”

So here Pitcock is, inner child found, his love of football restored. He came to Seattle with only one small suitcase, the rest of his belongings still in Indianapolis. It’s a fresh start, one he hopes turns into a career resurrection.

“It’s a whole new chapter in my life,” he said, “and I’m ready to make it a long one.”


Linebacker Anthony Heygood, who was cut before training camp, re-signed with the team Wednesday, only to suffer a season-ending injury on his first day back. During warmups for Thursday morning’s practice, Heygood tore his Achilles. He will likely be waived/injured, meaning if he clears waivers, the Seahawks will keep him on injured reserve. Receiver Mike Hass, a former Oregon State standout who spent most of last season on the Seahawks’ practice squad, was released to make room on the roster for Pitcock.


One Response

  1. very nice 😀

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