Kyle John Turley (born September 24, 1975) is a former American college and professional football player who was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. He played college football at San Diego State, and was recognized as an All-American. He was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints seventh overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Saints, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. He was an All-Pro selection in 2000.
Turley currently works as a country music recording artist and is a prominent voice in debate over the effects of concussions on the post-career health of NFL players.
1 Early years,
2 College career,
3 Professional football career
3.1 New Orleans Saints,
3.2 St. Louis Rams,
3.3 Kansas City Chiefs,
4 Life after football
4.1 Music touring and appearances,
6 External links,
Turley was born in Provo, Utah. He attended Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, California, where he played high school football for the Valley View Eagles.
Turley accepted an athletic scholarship to attend San Diego State University, where he played for the San Diego State Aztecs football team from 1994 to 1997. As a senior in 1997, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American.
Professional football career:
New Orleans Saints:
Turley is widely remembered for what occurred on November 4, 2001 in the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints were trailing the New York Jets 16-9 late in the fourth quarter, but were driving deep into opposition territory. After a scramble, quarterback Aaron Brooks was tackled at the four-yard line where Jets defender Damien Robinson viciously grabbed his facemask and started to bend Brooks backwards. Turley proceeded to grab Robinson's hands and forced him to let go of Brooks, before picking him up by the facemask and tackling him to the ground as referees and players from both teams tried to separate them. Turley emerged from the ensuing scrum with Robinson's helmet and proceeded to fling it across the field before giving an obscene gesture. Robinson and Turley received off-setting personal fouls for the initial incident, but Turley was ejected from the game and assessed an additional personal foul penalty for the obscene gesture, costing the Saints any chance at tying the game. Saints head coach Jim Haslett said he considered cutting Turley following the game but later rescinded his statement after discussing the incident with him and reviewing the game tape. Turley was ultimately fined $25,000 by the Saints Organization for conduct detrimental to the team while Robinson was fined $20,000 by the NFL. Turley said in his defense that he thought Robinson was about to break his quarterback's neck.
St. Louis Rams:
After rejecting a long-term contract extension with the Saints, Turley was traded to the St. Louis Rams on March 21, 2003 in exchange for a 2004 2nd round draft choice. The Rams immediately signed Turley to a 5-year contract extension worth $26.5 million ($10 million signing bonus) in addition to the one year remaining on Turley's deal. With Orlando Pace entrenched as the starting left tackle, Turley returned to the right side and started 16 games for St. Louis.
Turley's stormy and controversial career was interrupted in 2004 by injury woes. After recovering from offseason back surgery, Turley reinjured his back (August 2004) in training camp and ended up on the injured reserve list. Both injuries were considered career-threatening.
On Dec. 13, 2004, Turley reportedly had a heated confrontation with Rams head coach Mike Martz. The incident had to be investigated by league security as Martz contended that Turley "threatened to kill him," a charge that would later be vehemently denied by Turley.
On June 6, 2005, Turley was released by the Rams and spent the entire 2005 season out of football due to the effects of sciatic nerve damage that also atrophied his right leg. After initially dropping 65 pounds from his 300-pound frame, Turley had gotten back to around the 265 mark in hopes of switching positions, possibly to tight end.
Kansas City Chiefs:
On June 11, 2006, it was announced that Turley signed a two-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Turley had regained his previous weight and had been so impressive in training camp that he had been expected to be the opening-day starting right tackle.
As the 2006 Chiefs season ended, Turley had missed more than half of the season due to recurring injuries. Turley was released on March 21, 2007 and reportedly considered retirement. However, Turley was re-signed by Kansas City prior to its training camp in July 2007.
Life after football:
After retiring from football, Turley moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he set his sights on a music career. Turley started Gridiron Records with Tim Pickett. Other acts signed to Gridiron Records include Invitro, Unset, and The Hairbrain Scheme. Turley was influenced by Heavy Metal music. He loved Pantera and Slayer while growing up. Other musical influences are Johnny Cash and Hank III.
His debut album, Anger Management, was released by Gridiron Records in 2010. It was co-produced by Turley and Brandon Epps, and includes songs about his football career. He explains that the style of music "power country" is a mix of all rock sub genres and country genres. The track titled, "Anger Management," includes references to the helmet-throwing incident.Anger Management received critical praise since debuting in the top 200 Country albums on iTunes. Part of the proceeds from the album go to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund a non-profit, 501(c) (3) corporation, established to provide financial assistance and coordinate social services to dire need retired NFL players who are pioneers of the game and have greatly contributed to the NFL's status as the most popular sport in America.
In addition to music, Turley has been a participant in several journalistic inquiries into the NFL's treatment of concussions and overall health of its players. His experiences dealing with the ramifications of his football-related injuries, specifically concussions, were featured prominently in Malcolm Gladwell's October 2009 article in The New Yorker. As a result of concussions sustained through his career, Turley has a seizure disorder. Turley was also a participant in ESPN's investigation into the misuse of painkillers by former NFL players.
Turley has criticized former San Diego State coach Brady Hoke for leaving after two seasons to accept the head coaching job at Michigan. Soon after Hoke left in January 2011, Turley sent him a text message saying, "I hope you lose every damn game." The week of San Diego State's game at Michigan on September 24, Turley said that he was still angry at Hoke and hoped that San Diego State would beat Michigan so that "karma plays its role."
Music touring and appearances:
Turley toured with Hank III in early Spring of 2010 to support the album "Anger Management."
Turley has also appeared on Field and Stream's video series, "The Wild Life with Hank III."
After signing with booking agency, Creative Artists Agency, Turley planned a 2010 Fall tour set.
As of July 15, 2013 Turley's music was being used for Hollywood super manager/producer Barry Katz's Podcast; Industry Standard. Songs include "Free" and "Fortune and Pain."
In September 2011 Turley launched his Gridiron Tail Gate Tour. Playing tail gates and local venues at numerous NFL and college football games, Turley is dedicating his tour to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. Gridiron Records announced that one hundred percent of online sales for his sophomore album single "Fortune and Pain" will go to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. Turley is also working with Chicago-based, charity-minded public relations strategist Christopher Foltz to raise awareness of both the Gridiron Greats and NFL injuries and post-career struggles for retirees.