hall-of-fame_category-logo_horizontal_180x24

Dungy shares his respect for Noll

CANTON, Ohio - Tony Dungy, the former Steelers safety and defensive coordinator, will join former Steelers' linebacker Kevin Greene as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

Dungy, who played for the Steelers in 1977-78 and was a member of the Super Bowl XIII team, returned to the Steelers in 1981 as the team's defensive backs coach. He was named the Steelers' defensive coordinator in 1984, becoming the league's youngest defensive coordinator.

While it wasn't his time with the Steelers he is headed to the Hall of Fame for, rather his career as a head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-2001) and Indianapolis Colts (2002-2008), Dungy credits his success to his time with the Steelers and shared some of his thoughts on his time with the team.

On his start in the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Steelers in 1977:
"I remember the first year coming in and making the team with the Steelers. That was one of the biggest thrills of my life because it was such a long shot. When I walked in on Monday morning the week of the first regular season game and my stuff was still hanging in my locker, that was one of the biggest thrills of my life because that was unexpected."

On the importance of having his players be involved in the community and where that mindset came from:
"Coach (Chuck) Noll was tremendous in regards to talking about your life. Not just football. We had to accomplish things, but you had to get ready for life, you had to figure out what you were going to be all about as a person.

"Art Rooney Sr, when the rookies would make the team he would sit you down and talk to you about your responsibility and what it meant to be a Steeler and the fact that you were now representing not only Pittsburgh and the National Football League, but the team itself and you had to do it the right. We had so many players that did that in the right way, and when I became a coach I wanted to encourage players to do that.

"Mr. (Art) Rooney, Dan Rooney, and Chuck instilled that in us. Football was a job, but a part-time job. You had to be part of the community, part of the fiber of the city. I think that is really important. I tried to pass that down to our players."

On one of the messages Chuck Noll delivered:
"He talked about a way to do things. One of his great lines was 'Champions don't do extraordinary things, they do the ordinary things better than anybody else.' That was what he was all about in Pittsburgh. The foundation of a champion is doing the little things, doing the fundamentals right. Having that heart and desire to sacrifice from each other to win championships."

On what he would say to the late Chuck Noll if they could talk today:
"If I could speak to Coach Noll I'd tell him thank you for being such a role model for me. For not only teaching me the game, but showing me you could be successful in the NFL and still have a family life, still have your family important to you, still give your assistant coaches time with their families, still do things in a family friendly way and be successful. That you could live out your faith and still lead a team. He showed me all of those things and I never had to worry that you couldn't do that.

"We would probably talk about fundamental football winning, basic blocking, tackling, not beating yourself, not turning the ball over, taking it away from the other team. Those are the things that win and I learned that from him. We'd probably have a laugh about the game not changing very much and those things still being important years and years later.

"I would thank him for all that he did for me." 

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising