By Jim Gehman
“I was a free agent and quite frankly didn’t even sign all that quickly after the Draft,” Philcox said. “When I got done with my college career, I wasn’t certain I was going to even have an opportunity to play in the NFL. So when it did come about, I was thrilled, but I had always planned on more likely having to get a real job at some point.
“The (NFL) was more of a dream and then there’s reality. So you have to work for a dream, but you’ve got to plan for reality. I’m fortunate that reality didn’t kick in for a while.”
In fact, it didn’t kick in for eight years. After his football career led him to stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers, Philcox returned to Jacksonville in 2005, where he and his family still make their home.
After a second and third career in financial services and marketing, Philcox became a USCG licensed captain and founded Salty Charters [www.saltychartersjax.com]. He offers inshore fishing charters and cruises on Jacksonville’s Intracoastal Waterway and the St John’s River.
“I grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut and Long Island Sound (NY), so I pretty much spent my life on the water,” Philcox said. “I’ve got a 21-foot bay boat and take up to four people fishing inshore light tackle. It’s a nice low impact, fun way to fish.
“(I enjoy) being on the water and getting people outfitted and teaching them a little bit about it. Very rarely is there a bad day on the water. Even if the fishing is slower than normal you still have a great time.”
Besides talking about rods, reels and the inevitable one that got away, Philcox and some of his customers also find time to shoot the breeze about football.
“I’ve got some regulars who are familiar with my background and then you get some newer people or people travelling who may not be as familiar,” Philcox said. “But we certainly have some conversations about the game, both current and historical. Things that are going on, whether it’s my career or whether it’s just talking about the Jaguars. It’s always fun to talk about football.”
Away from the water, Philcox is the president of the NFLPA Alumni’s Jacksonville chapter. He and the other former players feel that it’s important to give back to the community.
“I think ever since the first time you get the opportunity to play in the NFL, you realize that you’re very fortunate and you’ve had an impact on especially children’s lives, but others, as well,” Philcox said. “I think most players, I would say a very, very high percentage, feel that obligation and desire to help out in any way you can.”