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Sports Then and Now



Don Coryell Deserves Spot In The Hall of Fame 2

Posted on July 02, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Innovative head coach Don Coryell has passed away at the age of 85.

Sad news last night that former NFL coach Don Coryell has passed away at the age of 85. Though Coryell has yet to pass muster with the selection committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his innovative career is certainly worthy of enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, when Coryell finally gets the HOF bust he has deserved for more than 20 years, he will join other deserving former players and coaches including Bob Hayes, George Allen, Gene Hickerson and Hank Stram as Hall of Famers who waited way too long for enshrinement and either had passed away or where too ill to fully enjoy their moment in the sun when it finally came.

Coryell almost made it into the HOF this past February as he was named as a finalist for the first time since retiring from coaching in 1987. Unfortunately, the selection committee maintained their track record of bad decision making and chose to recognize Dick LeBeau and Russ Grimm instead of the deserving and ailing Coryell.

While LeBeau was a solid player with the Lions and has been a good defensive coordinator (though an awful head coach) and Grimm was a key member of the great Redskins offensive lines of the 1980s, neither had the same kind of impact on the NFL of today as Coryell.

Though the game had been played for more than 50 years when he became an NFL head coach, Don Coryell ultimately established a passing attack that was well beyond anything that had preceded it in league history. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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