Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tuani Added to Lombardi Award Watch List

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Navy junior defensive end Jabaree Tuani has been added to the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. Tuani joins teammate Jeff Battipaglia, who was placed on the initial list May 5.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The 41st Rotary Lombardi Award dinner will be held December 7-8, 2010, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

Tuani has played in all 27 contests in his first two years, garnering 22 starts. As a freshman, Tuani was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year by the head football coaches on the Eastern Seaboard. Tuani was selected over freshmen from Connecticut, West Virginia, Pitt, Rutgers, Penn State, West Virginia, Temple, Syracuse, Boston College, Buffalo and Army. He was named a Second-Team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Magazine as his 42 tackles were the second most by a Navy defensive lineman.

Tuani is coming off a sensational sophomore campaign that saw him start in 13 of Navy’s 14 contests. He finished the year with 54 tackles, turned in 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He broke up a pair of passes and picked off one, while forcing two fumbles and recovering one.

Navy kicks off the 2010 campaign on Monday, Sept. 6 against Maryland at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Tickets are still available for that game at or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY. Navy’s home opener is on Saturday, Sept. 11 against Georgia Southern. Season and single game tickets are still available as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can Pitt Meet High Expectations in 2010


By Garrett Dodson

Some Pitt fans can remember going into the 2003 season ranked #10 by the AP poll. This team had future hall of famer, Larry Fitzgerald on the roster. So, among the Pitt faithful, expectations were running high with the potential of winning the Big East title and going to a BCS bowl game. They lost a 35-31 contest early in the season to Toledo and eventually finished the season at a disappointing 8-5 record. The same kind of expectations is being heaped upon the 2010 squad to not only win the Big East, but finish in the top ten. Below is the top 15 for the 2010 preseason coaches’ poll.

#1 Alabama

#2 Texas

#3 Florida

#4 Texas

#5 Boise State

#6 Virginia Tech

#8 TCU

#9 Oklahoma

#10 Nebraska

#11 Iowa

#12 Oregon

#13 Wisconsin

#14 Penn State

#15 Pitt

Season Overview:

The 2010 Pitt squad returns 7 starters on offense and 6 on defense. The team returns Heisman trophy candidates Dion Lewis (RB) and Jon Baldwin (WR). On the defensive side, standout defensive ends Greg Romeous and Jabaal Sheard anchor the front four that led the nation in sacks a season ago. The non-conference schedule will be challenging with visits to Utah and Notre Dame, while hosting Miami at home. Even though Pitt was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Big East, they will face stiff competition against Connecticut, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Rutgers.


Even though Dion Lewis and Jon Baldwin will get most of the media attention, the success of redshirt sophomore Tino Sunseri will be a key to offense. After redshirting his freshman year, Tino gave last year’s starter Bill Stull plenty of competition in preseason training camp. Many will question his height (list at 6’ 2”, but more like 6’), but has a terrific arm and the ability to run if necessary. Tino was 10 of 17 for 114 yards with 2 TD’s last season in relief effort. The offense is loaded at the both the running back and wide receive positions, but have question marks at the interior of the offensive line. Both tackles, senior Jason Pinkston and junior Lucas Nix are looking to have outstanding years, but starting positions for the two guards and center positions are up for grabs. Senior walk-on Alex Karabin has a slight edge on Jack Lippert at the center position. And Chris Jacobson, Greg Gaskins, and Ryan Turnley will be competing for the guard positions. Pitt returns a rarity in college football these days, and that is a good blocking fullback. Junior Henry Hynoski, is not only an excellent blocker, but has good hands receiving. Mike Cruz seems to have solidified his position as starting tight end, which plays an integral part in Frank Cignetti’s offense. If the offensive line can protect Sunseri and open gaps for Lewis, this offense can be very lethal. It would not surprise me to see the Pitt offense score more than 30 points per game on many occasions.


The 2010 Pitt defense has the potential to be better than the 2009 squad, which led the nation in sacks (47). One of the reasons for optimism is the good depth that Dave Wannestadt has established through his successful recruiting efforts. T.J. Clemmings, Bryan Murphy, Aaron Donald, and Khaynin Mosely-Smith are four defensive ends/tackles to remember in the future. These freshmen are already pushing for second and third string positions early in training camp. Jabaal Sheard and Greg Romeous combined for 13 sacks last year at the defensive end position. Myles Caragein and Chas Alechxih look to fill in the void left by Mick Williams and Gus Mustakus at defensive tackle. The linebacking corps will be the fastest group coached under Dave Wannestadt. All of them run the forty yard dash around 4.5 seconds. Over the last several years, Pitt’s defense has been noted for having a good middle linebacker. Remember H.B. Blades, Scott McKillops, and Adam Gunn? Dan Mason looks to continue this streak of good linebackers. The one thing that sets Dan Mason apart from other linebackers is the head on his shoulders. He spends plenty of time in the film room. The secondary has been a weakness for Pitt over the last couple of years. But, Ricky Gary and Antwuan Reed look to strengthen the cornerback position. Dom DeCicco (6’4” 230 lbs) and Jarred Holley are valuable at the safety positions.

Special Teams:

Dan Hutchins has the role of both punter and kicker. He was 23 of 29 (79%) in field goals last season. Dan kicked the winning field goal during the Meinecke Car Care Bowl against North Carolina last season. Dan has spent his offseason working on adding distance to his kicking. He was very accurate within 40 yards, but kicks over 40 yards were the majority of his misses. Dan made a 48 yard field goal in their last scrimmage game; giving coaches the assurance that he can be counted on to hit the long ones.


1) The defense returns two outstanding defensive ends that will harass quarterbacks all season long.

2) There is good depth at the skilled positions. Ray Graham could start on most college football teams, but is a great compliment to Dion Lewis at running back. The wide receiver position is stacked deep with plenty of talent. With Jon Baldwin and Mike Shanahan as the starters, Cam Saddler, Greg Cross, and Devin Street can all provide the fire power needed to compliment a solid running game for the Panthers.

3) Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. He can make an average player a good one.

4) Offensive line coach Tony Wise. He is a former line coach of the Dallas Cowboys.


1) The offensive line must replace 3 out of 5 starters from last season. Also they must replace the tight end position which lost two players to the NFL.

2) The secondary has been a weakness over the last couple of years, giving up plenty of yardage through the air. Pitt blew two leads last year against N.C. State and Cincinnati by giving up points through the passing game.


Sept 2 at Utah

Sept 11 New Hampshire

Sept 23 Miami

Oct 2 Florida International

Oct 9 at Notre Dame

Oct 16 at Syracuse

Oct 23 Rutgers

Oct 30 Louisville

Nov 11 at Connecticut

Nov 20 at South Florida

Nov 26 West Virginia

Dec 4 at Cincinnati

Saturday, August 21, 2010



By Jeff Batzel

After a disappointing 2-10 campaign last fall, Ralph Friedgen has his work cut out for him in College Park. It would seem that the Terps have nowhere to go but up the ladder in the ACC standings. However, in the ACC media’s preseason poll, Maryland was solidly at the bottom of the Atlantic Division predictions. Friedgen’s task, ultimately, may not be as easy as it would appear.

The Terps wins in 2009 both came at home. Maryland beat I-AA James Madison in OT and squeaked by Clemson in their only ACC win. The Terps ranked 11th of 12 offensively in the ACC and last in scoring defense in the conference.


Backfield- Jamarr Robinson will head into this season, his first full season as the starter, as the

focal point of an offense that struggled to score in 2009. "I saw tremendous progress


in him this summer. I just think he's a lot more comfortable with his reads and his decision-making. The thing I really noticed, though, over the course of the summer and spring, is I think he's really become more of a leader,” commented Coach Friedgen. Robinson, who started two games late in the ’09 campaign, completed over 50% of his passing attempts for nearly 500 yards and adds a running dimension to the QB position. “ I'm very confident in our offense. I feel like we're going to do great things," Robinson said regarding turning the struggling offense (next to last in the ACC in ’09) around.

It helps that Robinson has two other outstanding skill position threats to help with a Terp turnaround. One of those, Senior Da’Rel Scott, will line up in the backfield with Robinson at the Running Back position. Scott ran for over 1,000 yards and was a first team ACC All-Star as a Sophomore but was hampered by injuries last fall. Scott still ran for 400+ yards and 5.0 yards per carry in a season where he was at less than 100%. Scott has reportedly improved his 40 time by nearly a tenth to a lightning fast 4.29 after running on the Terp track squad last spring. “I feel I have an additional burst that I did not have before,” Scott proclaimed.

Junior Davin Meggett, who filled in for Scott off and on in 2009 gives the Terps a second seasoned weapon in the running back stable. "We have always been a one-two punch. Da'Rel (Scott) and I have always worked well together and we don't look to change that this year,” Meggett said.

Receivers- Junior Torrey Smith, the Terps leading receiver from a year ago returns giving Maryland, and Robinson, the top-notch target they need to lead the receiving side of a quite possibly strong aerial attack. Smith was selected by the ACC media as a two position first team pre-season ACC player this year. Smith (81 receptions for 824 yards and 5 TD’s in ’09) was tabbed at WR and Special Teams for his Kickoff return ability. Smith averaged 25 yards per return and had 2 TD’s returning kickoffs in ’09. Adrianne Cannon, a senior who had 468 yards in 44 catches last year, will man the other WR spot. Big Devonte Campbell (6’2” 255) will get the nod at TE. Campbell, who started in 4 games last year, is just a Sophomore. Will Yeatman, a transfer from Notre Dame, is an unknown after having been out of football for 2 years, but could give the Terps another TE candidate.

Offensive Line- Here lies the biggest question mark, in this writers opinion, regarding the ability of the Maryland offense to produce this year. Maryland lost two starters including NFL draftee Phil Costa. Paul Pinegar, Gonnella and Dill are the returning starters and two others, Bennett Fulper and Lewis, earned starts last season. How far this group comes along may play a huge role in how much time Robinson has to throw to his stalwart receivers and whether Scott and Meggett become the one-two rushing punch that they are capable of. Pinegar will move to Center to replace Costa who is in the Cowboys training camp. Dill earned All ACC Freshman honors last year at Right Tackle. Gonnella will open the season at Left Guard. Pete White, a highly regarded redshirt Freshman, will back up Gonnella. Fulper and Lewis will apparently battle for the Right Guard position. Sophomore Justin Gilbert, a reserve in ’09, apparently won the Left Tackle job in the spring.

Offensive Outlook- Improvement, barring injuries, seems imminent. The only question is, how much improvement. If the Offensive line gells and Robinson becomes a commanding leader to go with his athleticism at quarterback, then the Terps could be dramatically improved on the offensive side of the ball this year.


Defensive Line- Sophomore Tackle AJ Francis is the lone holdover from the ’09 Defensive front four. Francis was an honorable mention Freshman All-American last year. Despite 3 other starters graduating, the Terps do return a plethora of players who rotated in at the Line positions last season. Junior Derek Drummond and Sophomores Zach Kerr and Carl Russell saw action in all 12 contests last year. Sophomore Joe Vellano, who was injured through most of ’09 had an outstanding spring and should earn a starting Tackle nod. Sophomores Justin Anderson and Isaiah Ross are battling, and may end up sharing, the strongside Defensive End job. Drummond will most likely earn the other DE spot.

Linebackers- The LB corp, led by Senior Alex Wujciak (6’3”, 255) will be the heart and soul of the Terp defense. Wujciak is on several post season “watch lists” and is a consensus pre-season


All ACC selection. Wujciak had 131 tackles last season and 133 in 2008. He heads a talented LB corps that also returns Adrian Moten and Demetrius Hartsfield. Moten is a Senior while Hartsfield is just a Sophomore and comes off a fine rookie season that saw him gain All ACC Freshman 1st team honors. “He may have had the best spring of any of the linebackers,” Friedgen said of Hartsfield. The Terps return their top three backups, most notably Will Pooler who had 43 tackles in a reserve role. Incoming true Freshman David Mackall

turned some heads in the spring and according to Friedgen, “We may have to find ways to get him in the game.” Mackall enrolled early at UM last January.

Secondary- The lone returnee is CB Cameron Chism. Chism led the team with 4 interceptions last season. Junior Tate and senior Antwine Perez should open the season as the No. 1 safeties. Trenton Hughes and Dexter McDougle will battle for, or share, the other CB spot.

Tate and Perez are experienced performers who combined to start five games last season. Both are good tacklers and have been significant contributors the last two seasons. This appears to be the biggest question mark, defensively for the Terps and it is not out of the question for a member of the Freshman class just recruited to have an opportunity for immediate playing time at safety.

Defensive Outlook- Although the Terps will be very strong at Linebacker and potentially better in the Defensive Line, their problem area appears to be the secondary. Will Defensive coordinator Don Brown figure a way to put enough pressure on opposing QB’s to keep the pressure off his inexperienced secondary? That could be the key on defense. Don’t underestimate Wujciak and Moten as leaders. It’s not out of the question that one of the biggest defensive turnarounds in ACC history could take place in College Park this year.


Sophomore Nick Ferrera was more than adequate last year, hitting on 18 of 25 field goals and a long of 50 yards. Ferrera is versatile enough that he handled some punting duties in a pinch also. Senior Travis Baltz returns this year after a Junior season plagued by injuries. Baltz averaged 40.7 yards per boot. Torrey Smith, one of the finest kickoff returners in the nation, gives the Terps “instant TD” potential. Smith averaged 25 yards per return and scored two TD’s on KO returns last season. The biggest job the staff has to do is improve the horrendous punt coverage that hampered the Terps in 2009.


If the Terps are to be successful this year, their offense must produce and their defense has to become at minimum, adequate. The best scenario for the Terps this year is that they find creative ways to put the ball in Torrey Smith’s hands, that Robinson gains confidence early in the season that carries him through and that the defense bends but doesn’t least not too often. Maryland has a tough opener at Baltimore on Labor Day against Navy. They will be an underdog, and deservedly so, in that game. A respectable performance win or lose is imperative as is 3 of 4 wins in their subsequent games when they host Morgan State, Florida International and Duke. A trip to West Virginia is also sandwiched inside that home stand.

A 3-2 record and 2 weeks to prepare for a trip to Death Valley to battle Clemson could put the Terps in a position to get six wins and become Bowl eligible. Besides beating Clemson for the second straight season, home game games versus Wake Forest, Florida State and NC State are all winnable and if things are going well the Terps should expect to win in a trip to Virginia on November 13.

Obviously things could go awry for the Terps also. They are young on both the offensive and defensive lines and their secondary is a huge questionmark. Even if the offense produces, they could get outscored in shootout style games. It’s doubtful the Terps won’t exceed their two wins of 2009, but 3-9 or 4-8 are not out of the question.

There is little doubt that Ralph Friedgen is on the hot seat this year. We feel he will come through and that his youth will mature quickly and that Don Brown’s defensive schemes will come together better than they did in ’09. We like the Terrapins to get wins over Morgan State, Florida Int’l, Duke, Wake Forest and NC State at home and on the road at Virginia to go 6-6. This will set up the Terps, and Friedgen, for a possible run at the ACC title in 2011.


Sept. 6 vs Navy (At Baltimore)


Sept. 18 At West Virginia

Sept. 25 Florida International

Oct. 2 Duke

Oct. 16 At Clemson

Oct. 23 At Boston College

Oct. 30 Wake Forest

Nov. 6 At Miami

Nov. 13 At Virginia

Nov. 20 Florida State

Nov. 27 N.C. State


Pictures courtesy

Monday, August 09, 2010

Dick LeBeau HOF Speech

Man, this really is a great day to be alive (smiling). Here we are. I'd like to thank my mom and dad for creating the family environment that led an ornery young guy grow up and maybe someday allowed to have a weekend happen for him like is happening right now. Thank you, mom and dad.

I thank my brother, not only for introducing me, but for being the best big brother anybody could ever hope for all my life. I only got one problem tonight. They want me to give 52 years of NFL experience into a 10 minute talk (laughter). I don't know if I can do that, but I'll try.

I'm being inducted as a player. Believe me, that makes me most proud. I did that for 14 years. But for the last 38 years, I've been a football coach. So to ask me to talk more in two minutes and not talk about my guys over here, tell you right now, it ain't gonna happen.

The good thing for you folks is when I talk about them, you know who I'm talking about. We're not talking about the guys I played against. You would say, Who is that? Who did he say?

I'm proud to be from Detroit, proud of the guys that I played with. My teammates alone Dick Night Train Lane, Lem Barney, Charlie Sanders, Yale Lary and probably the best teammate anybody had, Joe Schmidt, they're already in the Hall of Fame. I'm so honored I'm going to be in there with them.

This Hall of Fame is a big deal. Can't really comprehend it. I've always been kind of known as a laid back type of guy. From the minute they told me I was in the Hall of Fame. Well, really I didn't find it out from the Hall of Fame. They said I had been nominated, I wasn't in. They said that they'd call me the minute they knew about how the voting turned out. There was a television show giving all the results. I wasn't about to be looking at that. I was sitting there chewing my fingernails, hoping they vote me in.

I knew about what time the TV show was coming on, watching the clock, keeping my mind occupied, waiting on that phone call. The phone rings. It's my buddy from Colorado, Jimmy Othrow. I said, Oh, man, he's a great friend. I have to take his call, but I have to tell him I can't talk to him, I'm expecting a call from the Hall of Fame. I answered the phone. I said, Jimmy, the Hall of Fame is supposed to call, letting me know if I'm in. He said, You big dummy, you're in, it's all over the TV. That's how I found out (laughter).

I was giddy, you know. My foot wouldn't touch the ground. I said, C'mon, Dick, get a hold of yourself. You're an experienced liver. Not old, you just got a lot of experience. I got on the plane and got down to the Super Bowl where they introduced it. I saw Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith with the numbers they just read, everybody knew they were going in, they knew they were going in. Heck, they were just giddy, happy, off the ground as I was. I made my mind up there I'm going to relax, enjoy this, and I don't care if I ever come down.

I want to thank the Hall of Fame and the committee for having the foresight for creating a vehicle to get players like Floyd and myself a second chance to get back in here. As I said, when you're an experienced liver, things do mean truly to you.

I want to thank Rick Gosselin for bringing my name in front of that committee. Rick, you had a tough job, I know that.

A couple years ago I got to meet the president of the United States. We got over to the White House. President Obama came in, he talked to us for a couple of seconds, a little while, said hello to us. Then we all went outside on the White House lawn. President Obama talked to I'd call it a throng, there was a lot of people out there. The president was about halfway through his talk and he said something like, Well, we all know Dick LeBeau. He's the defensive coordinator of the great Steeler defense. And, Dick, where are you, Dick? I'm like, Hey, Pres, I'm right over here.

When I got back home that night, I thought, you know, this might be the highest deal of my life. President Obama is singling me out, getting me some applause in his speech. I thought there certainly can't be anything greater than this. But in all due respect, Mr. President, this whole business is a little bit bigger, I can tell you that (smiling).

President Obama is the 44th president of our country, it was the 44th Super Bowl last year, and Floyd and I both wore 44 when we played. They said, It's the year of 44. I got a little different thing I do with the 4. Watch me now, this is a little sneaky. If you take 4 plus 4, that equals 8, subtract two, that gives 6, that's the number of Super Bowl championships that the Pittsburgh Steelers over here have won.

They're here tonight. I have to tell you, that's about the highest compliment I've ever had paid to me in my life. Dan Rooney is here. Boy, I'm just completely humbled by that. I know he would tell you he had a lot of other business he had to take care of over here, but I know darn good and well why he's here. I'm so proud of that, that he and the Rooney family, coach Mike Tomlin, who let this football team come out of training camp, folks, you got to think about this, let them be here tonight, it's just like them having another away game.

But I told several of them before I left, I'll tell y'all right now, I wouldn't want to be here without you, men, offense, defense, special teams, I wouldn't want to be here without you. They're my best PR. They really are. They're the reason that President Obama knew who I was.

A few years ago we played in this game. Joey Porter and James Farrior, two of our great leaders, they got this idea they would put on Dick LeBeau jerseys and wear them all over. He's still out there, he ain't in there yet. Last year Rod Woodson stood up here in his induction speech and he mentioned me. Rod, I'll never be able to thank you for that.

I thank all you guys for your PR because look where it got me, man. It worked.

I coached a lot of great players. I'm not going to get into that. Guys ask me, Coach, what's the perfect 3-4? Who would be the very ideal people at each position? I said, Well, really, truthfully, you start with Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, and Brett Keisel on the defensive line. Really, seriously. Not only the great players, they're totally unselfish. In the 3-4 your linemen have to be a little unselfish because you know everybody is going to talk about the linebackers and the safeties anyhow all day.

I told Casey, You're a great player, but I had a nose tackle that actually led our team when I was in Cincinnati, Tim Krumrie, led our team several times in tackles. Casey looked at me, you can't get anything over on him, you said your nose tackle led your team in defensive stops? I said, More than once. He said, Coach, there's no way you're running the same system that you're running with me. He might be right (laughter).

But I've had some great players with the Steelers. I had Rod Woodson, who is in the Hall of Fame. Carnell Lake, I was a really smart coach then. Ken Lord, Kevin Greene on the outside linebackers. They made me pretty smart, too. And I've had some smart players behind to tell those kinds of players where to go. Darren Perry, coaching up in Green Bay now, he was on that team. I had Ray Horton, who is working with me now in Pittsburgh. I had Dick Jauron, two time NFL head coach. He graduated from Yale. You know he's pretty smart.

I've had a lot of smart guys. I'm going to tell you right now, Ryan Clark, who is with us right now, he's in there with that group. He's a smart football player, a good football player. Let me tell you now. Ryan has something to deal with that none of those guys had to deal with. Ryan is back there every Sunday with a guy by the name of Troy Polamalu.

I don't mean to tell you that Ryan tells Troy where to go 'cause in all honesty nobody tells Troy where to go (laughter). All I know is wherever he goes, something usually good happens for the Steelers.

But Ryan sits back there and watches Troy and he tries to keep our defense balanced. He does a great job of that. It's not like he can play two or three games and say, I got it, because Troy keeps changing the script on him all the time. He likes to test him out every now and then. I wouldn't trade those two guys for anything.

With the Steelers' defense, we also got B Mack (Bryant McFadden) back there at corner, and Ike Taylor. I might be off a little on this, Ike, but when I first came there, I don't think I started him on one game. Now he's started every game we've played for the last six years. Hasn't missed a game, hasn't missed a snap. That's a great record of durability and dependability. Six straight years. Ike, all you got to do is go eight more, man, and you can catch me (smiling).

People ask me if I ever talk about when I played to my players. You just saw an example of how they have to suffer through that most every day. They ask me about what coach did you borrow the most from. I had too many great ones. When I was at Ohio State, I played for Woody Hayes, the great Woody Hayes. I still learned something almost daily from the current head coach of the Ohio State University, Jim Tressel. Coach Tressel is a textbook on how to conduct yourself at a major college level with integrity.

Don Shula was one of my first defensive coordinators. I've been told a lot of times that Coach Shula takes credit for a lot of the good things that I did. In fact, almost all the good things that I did (smiling). I always tell Coach Shula when I see him, I said, Don, that's fair because me and my defensive teammates take all the credit for making you the coach you turned out to be later on.

Another head coach that I had that I'll always be grateful for is a man that first brought me to Pittsburgh, coach Bill Cowher. Thanks, Coach. All of our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this tough time.

Owners? The owners I've worked for, played for, read like the Hall of Fame. Right now with the Rooney family. They have two in the Hall of Fame. I spent about 20 years with the Brown family in Cincinnati. If ever the word 'legendary' ever applied, I think the great Paul Brown certainly has that coming to his name. He operated within a 20 mile radius of where we're standing for a long time.

Also I worked for Ralph Wilson. He's in the Hall of Fame, from Buffalo. My buddy Tom Donahoe and Greg Williams brought me up there, kept me from an early retirement.

I played for William Clay Ford and his wife Martha Firestone Ford. That's two of the great families of America and great in the history of the NFL. It's like a storybook deal. I couldn't make this stuff up. I'm very proud of my playing career, my roommate with Jimmy Gibbons all those years, Wayne Walker, not going to get into all my line teammates, but they were all great guys and great players. I would like to thank my trainers. Millard Kelly was early days, then Kent got me through when I got hurt a little bit more later on in my career. Those guys kept me out there on the field. I thank them for that.

As far as my playing ability, I was known as the guy who was just going to come to work every day, I was going to play hard every day. Might not always play good every play, but I was going to play the next play as hard. I learned that from London, Ohio, a small town about two hours from where we're standing. Honesty and hard work, that's about all they value down there. It sure has stood me in good stead.

I'll leave you with one thing. Life is for living, folks. Don't let a number be anything other than a number. Don't let somebody tell you that you're too old to do this or too old to do that. Stay in life. Life is a gift. It's a joy. Don't drop out of it. Don't let somebody else tell you and don't let your mind tell you.

If I would have gotten out of my life's work at 65 or 67, when they say is the age of retirement, here is what I would have missed, folks. I would have missed not one but two World Championship football teams that I got to be a part of. That's these guys over here. I got to be a part of a No. 1 defense that statistically had the lowest numbers in the last 35 or 40 years. I had my number retired from my high school. Had a building named after me in my hometown. I made the Detroit Lions all 75 year team. I was accepted into the Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Now tonight I guess when I sit down, get off this speaking, which I'm gonna do, I'll be in the NFL Hall of Fame.

My mother always said, Onward and upward, age is just a number. God love y'all. Thank you