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Tuesday, July 6, 2010
More Coryell memories

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

The testimonials and remembrances for former San Diego Chargers coaching great Don Coryell continue to pour in.

Both Dan Fouts, who was Coryell’s star quarterback in San Diego, and former Miami coach Don Shula recently did radio interviews to honor Coryell.

In an interview with a San Diego station, Fouts continued to stump for Coryell to join him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: “It’s the right thing to do, simple as that. No man in the last 30 to 40 years has contributed as much to the way the game is played today as Don Coryell. He’ll get into the Hall of Fame eventually, I’m sure of that. He got very close last year. It’s unfortunate that he won’t be here, but he was there with me back in 1993 as my presenter and we had a great time together back then. I know that he’ll be smiling down when he is inducted sometime in the very near future.”

In an interview with a San Diego station, Shula talked about what it was like to prepare for the “Air Coryell” offense: “Well it was never me versus the other coach in my mind. It was preparing my team to play the other team and then knowing the rival coach and what he stood for and the kind of offense that he believed in and the defense he believed in. And when you’re preparing to play the San Diego Chargers, it was Don Coryell and Fouts and Kellen Winslow and people like that -- it blew your mind as far as the preparation goes, because they had so many weapons and Coryell wasn’t afraid to use them. A lot of coaches at that point in time were afraid to open up their offenses and throw the ball the way that Coryell threw it and the way that Fouts and San Diego threw it. So they were special.”

Reading tributes like this, for me, cements the fact that Coryell needs to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.