Devon Still, Leah Still share emotional goodbye before dad leaves for Bengals camp


With a series of kisses and a multi-step handshake, Devon Still said goodbye Wednesday afternoon to his 5-year-old cancer-surviving daughter, Leah, just two days before his Cincinnati Bengals begin training camp.

The Bengals defensive tackle posted to Instagram a video that featured the pair bidding one another farewell as he prepared for a flight from Philadelphia -- near where she lives with family -- to Cincinnati. Still will report to Paul Brown Stadium with the team's other veterans Thursday just in time for the start of training camp Friday. He has spent the entire offseason in Philadelphia while Leah has undergone treatments for Stage 4 neuroblastoma.

She went into remission in March, and tests Tuesday revealed she was still in remission.

In the video, Still held Leah with his left arm while asking her to "hold it down for him" while he's gone. They then kissed each other on their cheeks and foreheads before performing an elaborate handshake that had a finish reminiscent of one made famous by Will Smith's character in the 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince."

Underneath the video, Still included the following message:

"We both knew this day was coming when we had to say bye but we didn't know it would come this soon. I was only willing to show this part of our goodbye because we both make the ugliest faces when we cry so I couldn't do us like that. On a serious note, I'm not leaving her to go out there and play around I'm going to handle business. My daughter has been through hell this past year and now I have the opportunity to make sure she gets the world from here on out. So I'm going to make sure she gets it."

Still added the hashtag #iDidntGrindThisHardToFail.

Grind is exactly what he will have to do the next five weeks to make the Bengals' 53-man roster one year after he was originally cut from it. This preseason, he will be competing with several other defensive tackles for one of the position's final roster spots.

Often this offseason Still has called Leah his inspiration. He's trimmed down his weight and firmed up his body. He went from 317 pounds in January to a more healthy 295 entering this week. After watching how she fought and beat cancer, he has said he's vowed to do everything he can to prove he was worth the Bengals making him a second-round selection in 2012.