Background and college
Born August 21, 1956 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Shuler was a multi-sport star at East Pennsboro High School in Enola, Pennsylvania where he was also recruited by legendary college basketball coaches Dean Smith and Bobby Knight. At Penn State, Shuler was an All-American and a 3-year letterman, playing in the Gator, Sugar, Fiesta, Hula and Japan Bowls. He earned a Bachelor of Science in physical education at Penn State.
As a Jet
The Jets picked Shuler with the fifth pick of the third round (61st overall) in the 1978 NFL Draft. Shuler caught 49 passes in his first three seasons splitting time at tight end with Jerome Barkum. However, in a 1980 preseason game in Atlanta, Shuler seperated his shoulder after making a catch. He would miss the first 10 games of the season, and finish with no receptions.The following season wasn't much better, only catching 8 passes. Shuler's breakout year came in 1984 when he managed 68 receptions. In 1985 Shuler led the NFL for touchdowns by a tight end. In 1986 Shuler caught 69 passes and was named to his first Pro Bowl.
In 1987 Shuler's outspoken ways helped make him a leader during the strike, an event he later spoke of bitterly. 'Everyone had a bad time last season,' he said. 'It wasn't fun playing football. You try to pay your dues and do what's right. You're brought up as the all-American boy and you try to do what's right and you get slapped by the system.'1988. In 1989 he started and played in only seven games, finishing with 29 catches for 322 yards, his lowest total since 1983. He missed the Jets' fifth game of the season, against the Raiders, with a rib injury, then suffered a sprained knee in the eighth game against San Francisco and finished the season on the injured reserve list. Before he was out for the season, his 29 catches led all tight ends in the league.
1990 heralded the arrival of Bruce Coslet. In the final preseason game against Tampa Bay, Shuler was benched. The 34-year-old Shuler said he believed his long-time status as No. 1 was not affected. 'They told us they wanted to see everyone as starters; no big deal,' Shuler explained. When asked if he was still the starter, he replied 'I'd be surprised if I wasn't'. He, along with many others were surprised. A couple of days later, Shuler was waived. The Jets have never truly replaced him. He was a fierce blocker and an outstanding receiver. Shuler is currently sixth in all time receiving yards for the Jets.
After the Jets
Shuler was immediately picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles. After missing most of the 1991 season with back problems, Shuler failed his physical and retired. 'I've been with him basically since 1983, and I'm sorry to see him go,' said Rich Kotite, who coached Shuler as offensive coordinator with the Jets before becoming head coach of the Eagles. 'He was a tremendous overachiever. He had a great work ethic.
After the NFL
Today, Shuler is very active in community service with many organizations, such as the New York Governor’s Council on Drugs and Alcohol, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, the Long Island chapter of the United Way, The Salvation Army, the Long Island and Pennsylvania chapters of the American Heart Association, Athletes Against Drugs and Alcohol, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, He is currently the co-host of the Sports Channel weekly Jets TV Show and board member of CCNB Bank and is a member and inductee of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He lives in Marysville, Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan. Shuler's son, Mickey, now plays fullback and tight end at Penn State.