Sometimes it just takes a step away from the game to realize that you're just not done with it yet. Just ask Brett Favre. He did it numerous times.
This is Ryan Kalil's first time returning to the game after announcing his retirement after last season. Jets GM Joe Douglas convinced him that it wasn't his time to lock up the cleats and pads for good, and he knew it was the right move on Sunday -- when he was pacing the Jets' locker room getting ready for his initial first team reps of training camp.
"Everyone was making fun of me, I was pacing the locker room like 30 minutes before anybody else was dressed," Kalil told The Post's Mollie Walker after practice. "It's why I came back. I love football. I just do."
Kalil has been taking it slow since he was signed at the beginning of the month, learning his new playbook under head coach Adam Gase. Jonotthan Harrison has remained with the first team, but Kalil wasn't coming out of retirement to merely be a backup on the Jets.
Douglas brought him in with the notion that he would not only be a solid veteran presence at center, but also provide valuable leadership skills to Sam Darnold and the rest of the locker room.
It's unknown when Kalil will get preseason reps to see the offense working for real, but Sunday was a good start for the 34-year-old. He still doesn't feel 100 percent ready to play his best, but again, that will come in time.
"We talked about it early on and we've just been communicating day by day," Kalil said about the Jets' going slow with him to start training camp. "And I felt like I was ready to start getting out on team reps. It's hard to play when you don't know the plays, when you don't know the calls especially."
Kalil will continue studying, and gear up for a potential Week 1 start. The Jets, of course, won't hand him the reins if he isn't up to full game speed, which is why Harrison has the current upper hand.
But Kalil is antsy to finally get back into the swing of things for real. Pacing the locker room is just one example of that. As the preseason progresses, Kalil should be getting more chances to prove he's ready to lead the offensive line once again.
And when that time comes, he'll be ready.
"I'm so fired up. I really am," he said. "I'm nervous, obviously, because I want to do well and I want to play well and I want to contribute, but that'll come and we'll just keep rolling."