Nick Ferguson hasn't been between the lines as an NFL player since January 3, 2010, but he's stayed close to the game ever since.
Ferguson's 10-year career wrapped as a safety for the Texans in 2008 and 2009. The first three years of his career were spent as a New York Jet, and in 2003 he began a 5-year stint in Denver. The final game of the 2009 regular season for the Texans was Ferguson's last, and the veteran safety helped Houston win its ninth contest.
Now, he's a sports radio host weeknights in Denver, and it's a job he's surprised he's doing.
"It was one of the things I never thought that I would actually do, especially coming from my days with the New York Jets, where that media was really brutal," Ferguson said. "Years later, I would find myself walking into it because it was the closest thing that I could get to actually being part of the game. I can't play anymore. But talking about the game, breaking it down, the X's and O's, taking people behind the curtain, that was something that was definitely key, and it's helped me out."
In his decade as an NFL safety, Ferguson played on just one team--the 2007 Broncos--that finished under .500. He picked off seven passes in his career, logged 420 tackles, and played in 132 games. Since retiring, he held coaching internships with the Broncos, Seahawks 49ers and Texans. But chatting on-air, with his co-host Cecil Lammey on Denver's 104.3 'The Fan', has kept him busy over the last few years.
Ferguson came to the Texans in 2008, started nine games at safety, appeared in five others, and finished the season with 59 tackles as the team finished 8-8 for the second straight season. After his days in Denver were up in 2007, Houston was an easy choice for Ferguson.
"Just being around Gary Kubiak and knowing him from our time with the Denver Broncos, I was just like, I love what he's trying to build here," Ferguson said. "He's trying to take what he learned under Mike Shanahan and bring it to Houston, a new organization. It was great. The people of Houston were always great to me. It just kind of felt like a family atmosphere."
Ferguson said he still keeps in contact with a few former Texans teammates, chiefly defensive lineman N.D. Kalu and offensive lineman Eprhaim Salaam. He's been back to town a few times because of some coaching gigs, and has a soft spot for the city he called home for two seasons.