In 2009, Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end John Chick was enjoying tremendous success. He had completed three season in Saskatchewan, came close to winning a Grey Cup, and was named the CFL's top defensive player.

Then he signed on with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

Just over two weeks ago, Chick agreed to return to Regina after being released by the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

He spoke to CBC Radio Host Sheila Coles of The Morning Edition.


John Chick won the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2009. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

On returning to Saskatchewan: 

"It was a family decision. You experience a lot in the last few years. It took months for us to come to this decision. We know there was a point that for us it made more sense than to wait around. So it was a great opportunity. We loved our time up here. We loved the football here. That's where we loved playing football, so let's go play football."


John Chick at training camp with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011. (Michael Conroy/AP)

On his time in the NFL:

"At the end of the day I have a certain belief in myself. We have a certain belief in what I can do.  There are lots of labels thrown out there at all levels. The NFL might have seen an injury or a certain weight or height. It's kind of how it's always been. At some point, if someone is not going to take you know, they might not really want you. I'm not getting any younger and you get to that point where you want to play football. For me to sit around and wait and try and catch on, it just didn't make sense."

On being labelled in the NFL:

"I had some good labels. I think the number one was based on height, weight and size. You're labelled a pass rush guy or a 290 pound, 6'7 guy who can play the run. I have the belief that what you put in the weight room and what you put out on the field is more your resume. Other people see more of your physical attributes. And that's OK, but it was just time to move forward."


Toronto Argonauts QB Kerry Joseph is sacked by John Chick in 2009. (Chris Young/CP)

On how he's a different player:  

"I have a lot more experience. I had a lot of different experiences. Some good, some bad both in and out of football. All of those can help me with leadership on the field. And life experiences like being a husband and a father you deal with the day to day of children. I had dealt with a very significant injury that a lot of people deemed career ending. Those kinds of things you overcome with your wife and family."


Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio and John Chick during the first half of an NFL game against the Tennessee Titans in 2011. (Stephen Morton/AP)

On his leadership style:

"I've always been a little bit more of an action guy than I am with my words. So I always try to do right. That's what I believe. Whether it's on the field or off the field, I have a do-right mentality."

On the role of religion in his life: "It's number one in my life and I our family's life. It is very key to everything we do. And that's what leads and guides us."