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Don Coryell - HoF Campaign

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Sydalish, May 17, 2009.

  1. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    If possible can we sticky this thread? Thank you!

    Now to business... if you are interested in making your voice heard to the voters for the HoF below is contact information for nearly all of them. A LOT of credit for this info needs to go to the Art Monk HoF campaign blog, their previous work sourcing email addresses made my task much easier - whew! I would definitely check out the site to get an idea of the things they did to get Monk enshrined [http://artmonk.wordpress.com/]

    Some info about the voting process from the HoF website:
    Additional FAQ can be found here: http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/SelectionProcessFAQ.jsp
     
  2. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    CONTACT INFO FOR VOTERS:

    Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors

    Arizona
    Kent Somers, Arizona Republic
    kent.somers@arizonarepublic.com
    602-444-8335

    Atlanta
    Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
    Len Pasquarelli
    c/o ESPN
    ESPN Plaza
    Bristol, CT 06010

    Baltimore
    Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV
    garceau@wmar.com

    Buffalo
    Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News
    mgaughan@buffnews.com

    Carolina
    Charles Chandler, Charlotte Observer
    cchandler@charlotteobserver.com

    Chicago
    Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
    dpompei@tribune.com

    Cincinnati
    Chick Ludwig, Dayton Daily News
    cludwig@daytondailynews.com

    Cleveland
    Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer
    tgrossi@plaind.com

    Dallas
    Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News*
    rgosselin@dallasnews.com

    Denver
    Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
    sports@RockyMountainNews.com

    Detroit
    Tom Kowalski, Booth Newspapers
    http://blog.mlive.com/lionsinsider/about.html

    Green Bay
    Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    cchristl@journalsentinel.com

    Houston
    John McClain, Houston Chronicle*
    john.mcclain@chron.com

    Indianapolis
    Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star
    mike.chappell@indystar.com

    Jacksonville
    Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV
    skouvari@wjxt.com

    Kansas City
    Bob Gretz, KCFX Overland Park, KS
    http://www.kcchiefs.com/feedback/

    Miami
    Edwin Pope, Miami Herald*
    epope@herald.com

    Minnesota
    Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
    sports@startribune.com

    New England
    Ron Borges, Boston Herald*
    borges@globe.com

    New Orleans
    Pete Finney, Times-Picayune
    pfinney@timespicayune.com

    NY (Giants)
    Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record
    sports@northjersey.com

    NY (Jets)
    Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated
    (no email or mailing address available)

    Oakland
    Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
    FCooney@sportsxchange.com

    Philadelphia
    Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News
    pdomo@aol.com

    Pittsburgh
    Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    ebouchette@post-gazette.com

    St. Louis
    Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    http://twitter.com/miklasz
    Bernie Miklasz
    c/o St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    900 N. Tucker Blvd.
    St. Louis, MO 63101

    San Diego
    Nick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune
    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/staff/nick-canepa/contact/
    619-293-1397

    San Francisco
    Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle
    ngay@sfchronicle.com

    Seattle
    Clare Farnsworth, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    clarefarnsworth@seattlepi.com

    Tampa Bay
    Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
    ikaufman@tampatrib.com

    Tennessee
    David Climer, The Tennessean
    dclimer@tennessean.com

    Washington
    David Elfin, Washington Times
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/staff/david-elfin/contact/
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-elfin/5/a60/621

    PFWA
    Alex Marvez, FOXSports.com
    http://community.foxsports.com/profiles/profile.aspx?un=Marvez
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/alex-marvez/8/331/67a
    http://msn.foxsports.com/feedback

    At Large
    Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange
    HBalzer@sportsxchange.com

    At Large
    Jarrett Bell, USA Today
    jbell@usatoday.com

    At Large
    John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine
    John Clayton
    c/o ESPN
    ESPN Plaza
    Bristol, CT 06010

    At Large
    John Czarnecki, FOXSports.com
    https://s.foxsports.com/writer/John-Czarnecki?authorId=211

    At Large
    Dave Goldberg, Associated Press*
    dgoldberg@ap.org

    At Large
    Peter King, Sports Illustrated
    http://twitter.com/SI_PeterKing

    At Large
    Ira Miller, The Sports Xchange*
    imiller@sportsxchange.com

    At Large
    Len Shapiro, Miami Herald*
    lshapiro@herald.com

    At Large
    Vito Stellino, Florida Times Union
    vito.stellino@jacksonville.com

    At Large
    Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jim-trotter/8/329/864
    http://twitter.com/Si_jimtrotter

    At Large
    Charean Williams, Ft. Worth Star Telegram
    cjwilliams@star-telegram.com
     
  3. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Excellent work! I'd like to see this happen while Coryell is still alive, not some posthumous tribute.
     
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  4. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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  5. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Amen to that! :tup:

    Since Dan already submitted a letter requesting DC's consideration he will automatically be up for discussion this go round - now it's time for all of the fans to keep him top of mind with the voters.
     
  6. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    "Air Coryell"



    The San Diego Chargers of the late 1970s and early ‘80s featured one of the most explosive and exciting offenses that ever set foot on an NFL field. The unit became known as “Air Coryell” because of the passing attack devised by head coach Don Coryell.


    Dan Fouts

    Led by Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, the Chargers’ record-setting offense led the NFL in passing yardage six straight seasons from 1978 to 1983 and again in 1985. San Diego, which led the league in scoring in 1981 and 1982, averaged an astonishing 28 points per game during a span of 57 games from 1979 through 1982.

    In 1979, Fouts joined Joe Namath as the only players ever to pass for 4,000 yards in a single season. But that was just the beginning for Fouts who followed up with two more 4,000-yard seasons highlighted by a then-record 4,802 yards in 1981.

    Fouts was surrounded by a great supporting cast which included Hall of Famers Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow. Helping to make the passing attack so potent was an effective running game that kept defenses off balance. Running back Chuck Muncie carried the load during the pinnacle of the “Air Coryell” years. He had a knack for finding the end zone as he scored 39 rushing touchdowns from 1981 to 1983.
     
  7. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Coryell Offense is the name given to the scheme and philosophy developed by former San Diego Chargers Coach, Don Coryell. Air Coryell was initially a nickname given to the offense of the San Diego Chargers under Coryell from 1978-1986, but now has come be used interchangeably with the term Coryell Offense or the less common Vertical Offense as a descriptive term for the offensive philosophy Coryell developed.

    With Dan Fouts as quarterback, San Diego Chargers' offense was among the greatest passing offenses in NFL history. The Chargers led the league in passing yards an NFL record 6 consecutive years from 1978-1983 [1] and again in 1985. They also led the league in total yards in offense 1980-1983 and 1985. Fouts, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow would all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame from those
     
  8. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Coryell set the league on its ear with his passing offenses after moving up from the college ranks. He won two consecutive division titles (1974, 1975) with the Cardinals and three straight division titles (1979, 1980, 1981) with the Chargers, reaching the playoffs four consecutive times with the latter team. Coryell is the first coach ever to win more than 100 games at both the collegiate and professional level. Coryell's offensive innovations changed the entire nature of the league from a run-first league to a pass-first one.

    Today most NFL offenses' passing games are at least partially based on Coryell conventions.

    Former coach of the St. Louis RamsMike Martz says "Don is the father of the modern passing game. People talk about the 'West Coast' offense, but Don started the 'West Coast' decades ago and kept updating it. You look around the NFL now, and so many teams are running a version of the Coryell offense. Coaches have added their own touches, but it's still Coryell's offense. He has disciples all over the league. He changed the game."[2].
     
  9. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    The Coryell Offense is a combination of deep and mid range passing and power running.[3]The offense relies on getting all five receivers out into patterns that combined stretched the field, setting up defensive backs with route technique and the Quarterback throwing to a spot on time where the receiver can catch and turn up field. Pass protection is critical to success because at least two of the five receivers will run a deep in, skinny post, comeback, speed out, or shallow cross.

    Overall the goal of the Coryell offense is to have at least two downfield, fast wide receivers who adjust to the deep pass very well, combined with a sturdy pocket quarterback with a strong arm. The Coryell offense uses three key weapons. The first is a strong inside running game, the second is its ability to strike deep with two or more receivers on any play, and the third is to not only use those two attack in cooperation with each other, but to include a great deal of mid-range passing to a TE, WR, or back.

    The Coryell offense has the ability to both "eat the clock" with the ground game but also to strike deep and fast without warning. Critics argue that the Coryell offense is ill-suited for coming from behind, as the deep pass attack will be predictable and therefore easy to stop. However, the fact that the offense is structured around a power running game and tall WRs who can win jump balls and have some breakaway speed make this contention hard to support. This offense is built not only for deep passing but also to defeat short yardage and red zone situations. When evenly matched, the Coryell offense can produce big drives and big scoring efficiently. If teams sit back to cover the deep field, offenses should be able to run the ball on them. If the defense tightens down to stop the run, the offense can go deep. If a defense hedges its bets by using three-deep setups with an eight-man defense up front, the QB can pick apart the defense with 10-20 yard passes.[citation needed]

    While today, many Coryell offenses reduce the use a tight end, except in the red zone,[citation needed] the Turner strain of Coryell offenses are still very reliant of a good receiving TE. Non-Turner strains sometimes features an 'F-Back' (formerly known as an 'H-Back' in the 1980s), a hybrid tight end/wide receiver/fullback/running back. An F-Back is a multi-purpose, unpredictable tool for the offense. On any play he may carry the ball, lead block or pass block, play as a wide receiver, or run a tight end route. He is also part decoy, as his unpredictable role forces defenses to keep an eye on him, thereby opening up other opportunities for the offense.[citation needed]


    [edit] History of the name of the Offense
     
  10. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Today the most famous and successful advocates of this system are Norv Turner, Mike Martz, and Al Saunders. Turner learned the offense from longtime Coryell assistant, Ernie Zampese. Turner's take on the Coryell system turned around the career of hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman and has proven to be very successful with talented high draft picks struggling to with the complexities of the NFL Alex Smith. Turner' variant is not the most robust flavor of Coryell offense. It is a very sound, QB friendly scheme that favors taking controlled chances, like quicker midrange post passes to WRs off play action rather than slower developing passes that leave QBs exposed. It is almost exclusively run out of the pro set. Turner favors a more limited pallet of plays than Coryell and most Coryell disciples, instead insisting on precise execution. His offenses are usually towards the top of the league standings, but are often labelled predictable. His offenses tend to include a strong running game, a #1 WR who can stretch the field and catch jump balls in the endzone, a good receiving TE to attack the space the WRs create in the middle of the field and a FB who fills the role of a lead bloker and a final option as an outlet receiver. In Dallas, Turner made RB Emmitt Smith & WR Michael Irvin hall of famers, and TE Jay Novacek a five time pro bowler. As head coach of the San Diego Chargers, Turner's system helped quarterback Philip Rivers set new franchise records for single-season quarterback rating and touchdown passes in 2008.

    The Martz variant is a much more robust offense with a more complex playbook. It is a much more aggressive passing offense with the run often forgotten. There is much less of a focus on play action. The Martz variant favors an elusive feature back who can catch the ball over the power runners the Turner scheme favors. Martz credits his influences on his variation of the offensive system to Sid Gillman and Don Coryell. Martz learned the so called 3 digit system the offense is famous for with how the plays are called from Turner when they were both in Washington. The Rams set a new NFL record for total offensive yards in 2000, with 7,335. 5,492 of those were passing yards, also a new NFL team record. Martz tends to favor a 3 WR set with more elusive players, a third receiver and the Half back filling the role of middle receivers that TEs & FBs fulfill in the Turner offense. The Martz offense works best with two elite WRs with top speed. Unlike the Turner variant, due to the complexity of the Martz offense, the QBs who execute it best are often the more intelligent QBs who intuitively get what Martz is trying to do, not the elite athlete who team's personnel department might favor drafting with a high draft pick. Whether it is due to the personality of the coach or the nature of the scheme, the Martz variant has historically had problems when teams shut down the run and make the team one dimensional. Additionally, the QBs sometimes take a lot of hits in this system.

    Al Saunders was the former WR coach under Don Coryell in San Diego and succeeded him as head coach of the Chargers. The Al Saunders variant is heavily influenced by Coryell and Saunder's former boss, former Coryell assistant and 2 time Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who's Ace formation (single back, 2 WRs, 1 TE, and 1 H back) was immensely effective in the 1980s. The Saunders variant is a more conservative variant than the Martz version, but also quite complex. It is better suited for a veteran QB. It does not insist on size at WR or HB like the Turner variant and as such has difficulties in short yardage and red zone situations. It does not require a pair of dominant fast WRs like the Martz system and is not as aggressive attacking down the field and as such it does not score as many points as the Martz system. It is a more sound variant than the Martz scheme, offering a little more blocking and more run support for the QB. The Saunders variant pulls in many Coryell concepts that the Turner system eliminated in favor of simplicity.
     
  11. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Coryell's direct development of future coaches included Super Bowl head coaches John Madden and Joe Gibbs, Super Bowl offensive coordinators Ernie Zampese and Al Saunders, as well as Jim Hanifan and Rod Dowhower. Adding to the Coryell coaching tree, Super Bowl offensive coordinator Norv Turner tutored under Zampese, and another Super Bowl offensive coordinator Mike Martz studied under both Zampese and later Turner [5]. Dan Henning coached under Gibbs.
     
  12. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    As a college coach, Coryell invented the “I” formation and contributed to the development of the West Coast Offense, which was refined by Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers. Coryell is the only coach to have won 100 games at both the college and professional levels.

    McElhenny and Weinmeister are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McElhenny, Heinrich and Coryell have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The late George Bayer was a successful golfing professional who played on the regular PGA Tour and the Senior PGA tour. Kirkby is one of three Huskies to have had his number retired. Coryell is a 2003 nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Don Coryell (UW defensive back, 1949-1951)

    The history of Don Coryell’s playing career at Washington is obfuscated by conflicting sources. According to the Washington media guide, Coryell played defensive back at Washington in 1949. The UW Columns magazine says that Coryell played defensive back at Washington during the 1951 and 1952 seasons, but it accompanies the story with a photo of Coryell running the football, a photo that poses him as a running back.

    However, his performance as a coach in the college and professional ranks is well documented and undisputed. He is the only coach to win 100 games both in college and professional football.

    Coryell is noted for the wide-open passing attack he developed at San Diego State University and used in the professional ranks. His teams filled the sky with missiles, and there were no Patriots to shoot them down. When he coached the San Diego Chargers, he designed plays that flooded the field with every available receiver, and Bill Walsh at San Francisco picked up on that and refined what later came to be known as the West Coast Offense.

    Ironically, “Air” Coryell invented the “I” formation, a running formation, when he was a running back coach at Wenatchee Junior College. In 1961, the San Diego State Aztecs hired Coryell, who had been an assistant coach at USC, as head coach. He'd previously coached at Whittier.

    Coryell’s record at San Diego State (1961-1972) is 104-18-2. “During his dozen seasons at SDSU, the team posted winning streaks of 31 and 25 games and in only one season did the squad lose more than twice. In 1966 and 1969, the Aztecs completed unbeaten and untied campaigns. San Diego State secured three bowl victories during Coryell's tenure.” [Aztecs].

    Coryell was the driving force in moving San Diego State from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I status, which occurred in 1969.

    As head coach of the San Diego Chargers (1978-1986), Coryell and his quarterback Dan Fouts brought a passing attack to the NFL, the likes of which had never been seen. His teams changed their passing formations each week to confound their opponents. After a three-step drop, Fouts was a genius at dumping the ball off quickly, knowing the position of his targets on every play, as if directed by a Global Positioning Satellite.

    Coryell’s stratagem and genius brought three of his players admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: QB Dan Fouts, tight end Kellen Winslow and wide receiver Charlie Joiner.

    Before coaching the Chargers, Coryell coached the St. Louis Cardinals from 1973-1977 and posted a 42-27-1 record. His overall professional record is 111-83-1.

    Ironically, Coryell, a defensive back at Washington, gave birth to the West Coast Offense, a variation of which is used by today's Huskies.

    Coryell was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on August 13, 1999 in South Bend, Indiana. He is a 2003 nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame on October 20, 2000.
     
  13. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Coryell overdue for election to Canton

    September 14, 2005

    The first thing Don Coryell said when he saw me was: "I didn't have a stroke; I have a bad body." Now that was a relief. You couldn't help wondering if he had.

    "People look at me and think I did, but I didn't," he said, pointing to the left side of his face, which appeared to be in a stroke-inflicted collapse.



    JOHN GIBBINS / Union-Tribune
    (From left to right) Fred Dryer, Willie Buchanon, Hank Bauer and Ed White reminisce with former Chargers and SDSU coach Don Coryell at the Hall of Champions.
    The former Chargers and San Diego State coach had an unrelenting nervous twitch under his right eye, so he took a botox injection and it affected the opposite cheek.

    Other than that, and a limp created by a nasty fall in the woods near his home in Washington state, it was the same Don Coryell who yesterday was being honored – for what, the 10,000th time? – at the Hall of Champions. On hand to do a bit of "Duck" roasting were former Chargers Ed White, Willie Buchanon, Hank Bauer and Fred Dryer, who played for Coryell at SDSU. Dryer, the actor/producer/former Pro Bowler, emceed the proceedings and often broke into his hilarious Daffy Duck imitation of Coryell, complete with expletives.

    Many of the tales involved Coryell's legendary forgetfulness – "I remember the things I want to remember," he said – and his driving, if you want to call it driving. There are all the stories, of him motoring to SDSU and forgetting his kids or the trash cans were in the back of his station wagon. Dryer recalled flying in on his own dime from Los Angeles on a recruiting visit to meet Coryell at the airport, sight unseen.

    After Coryell finally recognized Dryer and hugged him without introduction, there was a harrowing ride out to State following Coryell's search for his keys (they were in the ignition), highlighted by a wrong-way drive up a freeway off-ramp and a 60-mph jaunt on University Avenue.

    Dryer, not a normal student-athlete, was sold by the ride, saying: "This is the place for me."

    Knowing Coryell, probably the most focused individual I've known, just thinking about him driving constitutes an insane act. He points to his wife, Aliisa: "I let her drive now." Good for motorists everywhere.

    Coryell recalled being nervous over not being able to find Dryer one day. One of his assistants told the head coach: "I don't know which parking lot Fred slept in last night."

    But there was much talk about football. Coryell is one of the men who changed the game forever. Because of it, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's continued neglect of this innovator, who forced dramatic change on both sides of the line of scrimmage and brought the I formation into popularity, was a hot topic.


    Advertisement - Your Ad Here Especially now that John Madden appears headed for almost certain induction into the Hall next year. Before joining the Raiders, Madden coached under Coryell at State. If he didn't learn everything he knows from Coryell, he learned most of it, and the rest from Al Davis.
    Madden belongs, but there are those who will make a case against him. Look who played for Madden in Oakland. Jim Otto, George Blanda, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, Fred Biletnikoff and Dave Casper all are in the Hall. Cliff Branch – the best player not in Canton, it says here – and Ken Stabler both deserve the honor. And yet Madden won one Super Bowl with those wonderful players.

    "I think it's great that John is going in," Coryell said. "He should have been in a long time ago. He won a heck of a lot of games. As for me, I've been told for so many years that next year is the year for me, I don't worry about it. I don't think about it. Naturally, it is something I'd like and appreciate very much."

    Coryell's problem is that he never reached a Super Bowl. Unfortunately, that's how many NFL coaches are judged. But contributions to the game are what matter.

    "He thought the more field you had, the more fun you had," Dryer recalled. "If we got the ball at the 1, he'd say, 'Hell, we have 99 yards!' "

    Coryell won more than 100 games both as a pro and a college coach, still the only man to do so. But try to find a coach today who hasn't been affected by Coryell and I'll show you one who isn't working. Coaches have picked his pockets for 45 years. And we're not just talking about the passing game, in which his only historical peer was Sid Gillman. Coryell changed the way defenses operate. Why do you suppose mass substitutions came about? My, teams hated to play Coryell.

    Bill Walsh? Great coach. Given credit for the West Coast offense.

    "Coryell developed the tight end as a wide receiver," said Buchanon, simply the finest college cornerback I've seen. "The West Coast system? That's Coryell's system."

    Dryer wants to start a campaign to let the Hall voters know Coryell has slipped through the cracks of time. The coach is 81 now. Time to get it done.

    "I don't know what constitutes the proper pedigree," Dryer said. "I'll have to ask the guys in the clubhouse. But, as far as deeds go, he has had as much impact on the game as anybody in the Hall of Fame. It's not just about wins, but excellence. If it were just about wins, 95 percent of the people in the Hall wouldn't be there."

    Don Coryell has the papers, the proper pedigree. Canton is missing a bust.
     
  14. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    This deserves rep and if I could you'd have it. Great read.:tup::icon_toast:
     
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  15. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I could careless about the rep right now. I am trying to get everything under one thread. If you are going to email or write to these "VOTERS", please do so in a knowledgeable respectful way! But just do it!

    We do not need some chain letter, we need a lot of different letters written!
     
  16. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Don Coryell Belongs in the Hall of Fame


    By Tom Shanahan
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    BLINKLISTTuesday, July 1, 2008 | Aug. 2 is almost here, and the day will mark the induction of another class of Pro Football Hall of Famers that is missing someone.

    Hall of Fame? Don Coryell has yet to get his due. Is it because he wasn't as funny as John Madden or as scholarly as Bill Walsh?


    Tom Shanahan
    Yes, it's true -- Coryell didn't win a Super Bowl, like Madden and Walsh, although the Chargers advanced to two AFC Championship games. One loss was skewed by a fluke bounce of the ball to Oakland Raiders tight end Raymond Chester for a touchdown and the other by Antarctic conditions in Cincinnati.


    But if George Allen, a defensive genius, is in the Hall of Fame -- Class of 2002 -- is Coryell any less deserving?

    Listen to Dan Fouts, the Chargers' Hall of Fame quarterback.

    "He influenced offensive and defensive football because if you are going to have three or four receivers out there, you better have an answer for it on the other side of the ball. If it wasn't for Don, I wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame."

    Listen to Brian Sipe, Coryell's quarterback at San Diego State that went on to be the NFL MVP with the Cleveland Browns in 1980.

    "When I went to the Browns in 1972, Don Coryell's offense was ahead of anything I saw in the NFL. I think the only reason I had the career I had, is I was so quickly able to step in and know what I was looking at. The NFL was easy for me. I felt like I was taking a step backward in terms of preparation."

    Coryell, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, is still the only coach to win 100 games in college and 100 games in the NFL.

    His NFL record was 114-89-1 with the St. Louis Cardinals (1973-77) and the Chargers (1978-86). His college record at San Diego State (1961-72) was 104-19-2.


    Don Coryell
    His NFL teams won five division titles, in addition to those two AFC Championship games.

    In 1979, he led Chargers to playoffs for first time since 1963. In 1974, he led the Cardinals to the playoffs for first time in franchise history.

    His passing attacks were ranked No. 1 in the NFL seven times. He originated the "digit" play-calling system still used by many NFL teams.

    Listen to Mike Martz, who won a Super Bowl as the offensive coordinator of the "Greatest Show on Turf" with the St. Louis Rams and advanced to another Super Bowl as the Rams' head coach.

    "Don is the father of the modern passing game. People talk about the 'West Coast' offense, but Don started the 'West Coast' decades ago and kept updating it. You look around the NFL now, and so many teams are running a version of the Coryell offense. Coaches have added their own touches, but it's still Coryell's offense. He has disciples all over the league. He changed the game."


    Listen to Willie Buchanon, a Pro Bowl cornerback and 1972 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year with the Green Bay Packers, who was an All-American cornerback for Coryell at SDSU.

    "When I got in the NFL, it was easy after playing at San Diego State. I learned everything I knew from Don Coryell, Ernie Zampese and Claude Gilbert. We had a system. Coryell developed the tight end as a wide receiver when he split Tim Delaney 5 yards out. They call the passing games today the West Coast offense. That was Don Coryell's system."

    A list of testimonials could go on an on from those that believe Coryell belongs in the NFL.

    But Fred Dryer, a Pro Bowl defensive end in the NFL that was an All-American for Coryell at SDSU, cites new evidence. Dryer suggests looking at Coryell's players with the Cardinals and Chargers and checking their Pro Bowl trips before and after they played for Coryell.

    It's quite revealing:



    DAN FOUTS (Chargers), 1973-1987, Hall of Fame: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none; Pro Bowls with Coryell: (6) 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985.


    CHARLIE JOINER (Chargers), 1969-1986, Hall of Fame: Pro Bowls before Coryell: (1), 1976; Pro Bowls with Coryell: (2) 1979, 1980.


    DOUG WILKERSON (Chargers), 1970-1984: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none; Pro Bowls with Coryell: (3) 1980, 1981, 1982.


    CHUCK MUNCIE (Chargers), 1976-1984: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none; Pro Bowls with Coryell: (3) 1979, 1981, 1982.


    JOHN JEFFERSON (Chargers), 1978-1985: Pro Bowls with Coryell: (3), 1978, 1979, 1980; Pro Bowls after Jefferson was traded to the Packers: (1) 1982.


    WES CHANDLER (Chargers), 1978-1988: Pro Bowls before Coryell: (1), 1979; Pro Bowls with Coryell: (3) 1982, 1983, 1985.


    DAN DIERDORF (Cardinals), 1971-1983, Hall of Fame: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none; Pro Bowls with Coryell: (4) 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977

    Pro Bowls after Coryell: (2) 1978, 1980.


    JIM HART (Cardinals), 1966-1984: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none

    Pro Bowls with Coryell: (4) 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977; Pro Bowls after Coryell: none.


    TOM BANKS (Cardinals) 1971-1980: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none

    Pro Bowls with Coryell: (3) 1975, 1976, 1977; Pro Bowls after Coryell: (1) 1978.


    TERRY METCALF (Cardinals), 1973-1977, 1981: Pro Bowls with Coryell: (3) 1974, 1975, 1977; Pro Bowls after Coryell: none.


    JIM OTIS (Cardinals), 1970-1978: Pro Bowls before Coryell: none;

    Pro Bowls with Coryell: (1) 1975; Pro Bowl after Coryell: none.


    Don Coryell, plain and simple, belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
     
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