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Coryell a Hall of Fame Finalist

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Nov 28, 2009
    Don Coryell is one of 25 semifinalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010, the Hall of Fame announced Saturday.

    Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts has written numerous letters to Hall of Fame selectors, and Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner is one of numerous men who have stumped for Don Coryell’s enshrinement in Canton.

    The innovative Coryell came a step closer to seeing that happen Saturday as the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that the former Chargers head coach is one of 25 semifinalists for Canton’s 2010 class.

    Coryell took over the Chargers midway through the 1978 season and held the position until 1986. In 1979, his first full season at the helm, he led the team to it’s first postseason appearance in 15 seasons. In his previous post with the St. Louis Cardinals, he produced a playoff berth in his second season, the franchise’s first since they’d relocated from Chicago in 1960.

    More importantly, his offensive expertise left a handprint on the NFL game that is still visible every Sunday. The Chargers’ current offensive system is based on the one Coryell innovated when he was head coach at San Diego State in the 1960’s. Several NFL teams run a similar version of “Air Coryell.”

    “Their system started in the 1960’s,” Turner said. “If you think of something you could create that would stand the test of time and be relevant almost 50 years after you created it, it’s pretty amazing. It was a cutting edge idea in the 1960’s and it’s still cutting edge.”

    The system worked then and it worked now. From 1978-83, the Chargers led the NFL in passing every year. They second in 1984 and were back on top in 1985.

    Turner is one of dozens of coaches who have adopted Coryell’s offensive number system and philosophies. The Dallas Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990’s – two with Turner as the club’s offensive coordinator and a third with former Coryell assistant Ernie Zampese calling plays.

    Joe Gibbs, played for Coryell at San Diego State and worked under him with the Chargers, won three Super Bowls. Numerous other coaches have had great success following Coryell’s model.

    “All you have to do is review the careers of Hall of Fame coaches such as John Madden, Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs, and see who provided them with the inspiration and innovation that led to their own Hall of Fame careers,” Fouts wrote in a letter to Hall of Fame Selectors. “Super Bowl coaches such as Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz, the great offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese and Chargers coach Norv Turner would all concur that the ‘Air Coryell’ offense contributed a great deal to their own success.”

    Coryell’s influence didn’t just affect how offenses are played. Defenses had to drastically change to keep up with his penchant for spreading the field with multiple receivers and using all of the field.

    “Whoever heard of the nickel or dime pass defense before ‘Air Coryell’ forced opponents to come up with strategies to combat Coryell’s aerial assault?,” Fouts asks.

    Fouts credits Coryell for much of his success as well as the Hall of Fame teammates he played with.

    “It was Coryell - with his revolutionary vision, his unique style of leadership and his successful implementation of the most innovative offense the NFL had ever witnessed - that led me and my teammates, Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner, to the steps of the Hall of Fame.”
    The 25 semifinalists will be whittled to a list of 15, and in January, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet to determine who will be inducted next summer. Saturday’s semifinalists came from a list of 131 preliminary nominees.

    Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules do stipulate that betweenfour and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    It's time the NFL shows some respect for that man who built the game into what we view today. Fout's is right who ever heard of nickle and dime defense before the Coryell offense lit up scoreboards throughout the league.

    If DON doesn't get in this year, I would never step foot in the HOF.
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    I read an article that said LeBeau would get the coaching love this year. It's a phuc-ing travesty that Coryell isn't in. :icon_evil:
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    I read an article that said LeBeau would get the coaching love this year. It's a phuc-ing travesty that Coryell isn't in. :icon_evil:
  5. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

    Jan 15, 2007
    Remember to vote Early and OFTEN!!:tup:
  6. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    at the game he's using a walker and he looks very frail. I don't know if he's ill or if he's just aging rapidly. Let's try and get him in the Hall ASAP!

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