Coming to the annual NFL festival known as the Senior Bowl was something of a mercy mission this year. I needed to try to save Jacques Cesaire's life, his family, his health.

If you know Cesaire, you know it was a fool's errand.

But this is one of my favorite people, one of a lot of people's favorite people. And while I hold NFL assistants in high esteem, it's a vocation that, really, should be reserved for the chosen few – like Marines or pirates.

Cesaire, who the Chargers released in September after nine seasons and 66 starts at defensive end, made about $9 million over his career and has a bunch of it left.

He does have a young family and figures he needs to work at some point, but that need is not urgent.

This is a passion play.

Cesaire gave a try to the dark side, doing some segments for local TV stations this fall. Continuing in that less demanding job has been the advice of many friends and former coaches. And Cesaire did enjoy it -- to an extent.

"The media, it's not a team," Cesaire said. "What is the goal? The goal is to get the next great story. That's not exciting to me. What's exciting to me is having a group of guys and working together and having a plan to work toward achieving a goal. And when you do, it's a little slice of heaven. And when you don't, guess what, you get to do it all over again."