LINCOLN — Trevor Roach knew before he even sat down with Marvin Lewis and others on the Cincinnati Bengals’ staff.
The former Nebraska linebacker had lost some of his enjoyment for football, his wife was back in Omaha and Roach was ready for something else with a degree in finance/management.
Lewis asked if Roach wanted some time to think about it — since the meetings were right on the heels of the NFL season — but his message would be the same for the Bengals’ linebackers coach, defensive coordinator and special teams coach.
“I basically told them this was something I had been thinking about for a while,” Roach said. “It wasn’t like I woke up and had an epiphany. I told them I’d thought about it a lot, and was at a point in life where I was ready to move on.”
Roach’s retirement was recently made official, ending his NFL career after two seasons in Cincinnati. He was active for four games last season, and also for the Bengals’ playoff game in 2015.
Roach said he already has accepted a position in the accounting department of an Omaha-based company and will start that job next month.
“I don’t think I’ll regret it,” he said. “I thought a long time about this. I don’t regret it now. I hope I don’t regret it later. I might, I guess, but it’s something you just can’t tell.”
Roach said his love for the game actually started to wane at NU, where he was nagged by injuries before starting six games and making 63 tackles as a senior in 2014. His father, Tom, died shortly after he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals.
“It was one of those things my dad wanted me to pursue, so I felt like this was something I wanted to do for him,” Roach said. “It was something I wanted to prove for myself, too, but it also was a deal where it was the only thing I’ve done for so long, that anything else was going to be a big change in your life.”
Roach, 24, said he would miss the locker room and team aspect of football, but the run of injuries made him think about his health. It was going to take work to make the Bengals’ 53-man roster or practice squad again in 2017, but Roach never stressed that element of being in the NFL.
“I enjoyed the fighting part of it, to be honest with you,” he said. “Everyone in every job is trying to fight to be the best and make it. I was a walk-on (at Nebraska), an undrafted free agent … it’s kind of the only thing I know how to do.
“But to have a good team you have to have everyone all in, and at that point I wasn’t one of those people. I definitely wanted to win, but you get to a point where I definitely wanted to move on.”