Quotes about former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll, who died Friday at 82.
“He was a tough coach to me, and I spent more time with him than anybody, so I know. I learned how to be mentally tough with him, and for that I can never say thank you enough, because that got me through divorces, Super Bowls, and those times when I had bad moments in big games. He made me mentally strong, which I wasn’t. And he instilled in me a great work ethic.” – Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw.
“The first meeting we ever had, I was a rookie, and I had my notebook out. They had won two Super Bowls already, so I am expecting Chuck to tell us what we need to do to make the team.
“Instead, he says: “Gentlemen, welcome to the NFL, you are now being paid to play, football is your profession. But I can tell you it is not your life. You can’t let it be. Part of my job is to help you find your life’s work.’
“That is the kind of things that stuck with me about Chuck.” – Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy.
“He never won Coach of the Year until 1989, but he didn’t care about those things. He did what he felt was right, and it carried over obviously to the football team. Chuck Noll was a coach who always was concerned with the basics of the sport. He always used to say, ‘This game is blocking and tackling,’ and to him that was playing the game the way it should be played.” – Steelers owner Dan Rooney.
“Chuck was just the ultimate leader. He had truth and belief in what he was saying, and over time all of those things he said were validated, the things about winning football games and being a solid citizen.” – Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene.
“He was a father figure, with me being a young African-American growing up in the South and losing my father early in my college career. My father died during my freshman year of college. Just being young and immature, Chuck was a stabilizer; he was a stabilizing figure in my life. He was a great mentor and a great leader. He was special.” – Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount.
“He’s the one who turned the thing around. I played for a bunch of coaches, three or four coaches. You could tell it was going nowhere until he came. And you knew he had a plan. He knew what he wanted to do. He had the respect of all the players. A lot of times guys go around and make remarks about coaches and things like that, just kidding around. But nobody ever kidded around. They had the greatest respect for Chuck.” – Former Steelers running back and assistant coach Dick Hoak.