Devon Still has been a busy man since his days as an NFL defensive lineman ended, a journey that Still had been fighting to continue while also fighting for his daughter's life. Leah Still was 4 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma and was given a 50 percent chance of survival.
Leah has been cancer-free for six years and has been able to return to a normal life. Once she reached the five-year mark, the chances of the cancer returning significantly decreased -- a battle the Still family continues to win. Still shares Leah's journey through his Still Strong Foundation, which gives assistance to families that are battling cancer, and started a podcast with his wife, Asha. The REALationships podcast gives people the tools to create strong and healthy relationships -- Still's primary focus since stepping away from the game. The podcast shows the ups and downs of relationships and marriage, and the obstacles Devon and Asha overcame during their daughter's battle with cancer.
Still keeps tabs on the NFL and has been reaching out to draft prospects who are seeking help as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches. In an interview with CBS Sports, Still breaks down some of the biggest drat questions facing the Cincinnati Bengals -- who selected him 53rd overall in 2012 -- along with other moves the league has made this offseason.
The day of the draft can be excruciating. A lot of players don't know where they are going after the top 10 picks. How did you handle that process?
Still: "You just have to enjoy the moment. You can't let the anxiety of wondering where you're going to be picked take over the experience of your dream coming true. I know from experience, since I was projected to be a first-day pick. I was invited to New York and sat in the green room watching everybody walking across the stage -- and it hurt.
"When my name got called on the second day, it didn't matter anymore. My childhood dream came true. I tell prospects just let the chips fall where they may. If you did everything you can to put your best foot forward and show those teams you belong in the NFL, let the process take its course. You don't get this experience back."
What do you see in Micah Parsons that's different from other linebackers in the NFL?
Still: "His instinct as a linebacker is extremely important, being able to see plays happen before they actually happen. His playing ability not only allows him to be a great player, but he allows people around him to be that much better.
"He plays sideline to sideline for 100 yards. He's full tilt. Not only is he a great player, but a great person."
What are your thoughts on Joe Burrow after one season?
Still: "He's no stranger to adversity. I look forward to him overcoming this injury and getting back to the playing level he was on -- if not better. It's extremely important for the Bengals to set up a line that can protect him. He's a great player and a great leader for that team."
So you're all in on a tackle at No. 5?
Still: "There's no point in having a receiver if you don't have a quarterback protected and able to throw him the ball. I think they'll go with an offensive tackle there, hopefully Penei Sewell."
What did you think of the NFL new jersey number rules?
Still: "I'm not a single-digit guy, but I know players in the SEC -- especially single-digit linemen -- they love the single-digit numbers. I do think it's cool to give the players the ability to express what they feel, whether it's 'My Cause, My Cleats' for non-profit organizations or single-digit jersey numbers. Deion Sanders had it right when he said 'you look good, you play good.'"
What did you think of the Bengals' new uniforms?
Still: "It just gives them a new look. Players seem to perform at a high level when they are able to go out and look good. I think the new threads will look good."
Did you try to push for new threads at Penn State?
Still: "Not at all (laughing). Oh no. No way. You know Joe [Paterno] wasn't going to budge. He was there for 60-plus years and he is going to do things his way. I actually liked the blue and while and not having any names on the back of the jersey. It allowed you to focus on the team and not the individual player."
Any interesting Joe Paterno stories to share since you played for him in his final years?
Still: "A lot of people questioned whether he was still part of the program during his later years, but he was one of the smartest football minds I met. His toughness was second to none. One practice the quarterback threw (wide receiver) Devon Smith the ball and he was running a fade. He caught the ball and ran Joe over. Joe was on the ground and fractured his hip. He got up and acted like nothing happened to him.
"The doctors actually had to go to him and talk him into not walking around. Just to see him at age 82 get run over by a player and get up like nothing happened to him, it made us tougher as a team -- knowing that our leader was tough."
*Still was available on behalf of ClearBlue.