Dolphins guard Eric Steinbach retires

Steinbach is hanging up his cleats. (US Presswire)

For most of his career, guard Eric Steinbach was a solid piece of the offensive lines in Cincinnati and Cleveland, starting every game but one and missing only three total contests from 2003-10.

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But he missed all of 2011 with a back injury, and his short-lived comeback with the Dolphins played out in front of the “Hard Knocks” cameras, giving him a chance to get off one of the better lines of the first episode when he looked in the lens after his initial tryout and said he needed the hot tub and a cigarette.

Turns out, the 32-year-old Steinbach’s comeback was short-lived, as coach Joe Philbin announced Wednesday that Steinbach has retired.

The news isn’t a big surprise. In this week’s episode of “Hard Knocks,” Philbin and Steinbach met and Philbin talked about how Steinbach wasn’t playing as well as he once did and that he would sit out the Panthers preseason game because he wouldn’t be ready to go. Steinbach agreed with his coach, and you had to wonder then if he already had begun to think about retiring.

"I think a lot of him,” Philbin told reporters. “I remember when he was 18 years old and it was like pulling teeth from him to get him to move from tight end.”

Good thing he did.

“He should have no regrets,” Philbin said. “He’s had an excellent career.”

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