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. He will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio on Saturday, Aug. 6.
Dungy selected his former Steelers' teammate, mentor, and a player he later when on to coach, Donnie Shell, to be his presenter. Shell recently shared his thoughts on what that honor means, as well as what Dungy has meant to him.
What does it mean to you that you will be presenting Tony for the Hall of Fame?
"I was taken aback. He texted me and told me this would mean a lot to me if you would do that. I am very humbled to do that and honored also. This will be a presentation that is easy to do. I have an easy job. This will be one of the easiest presentations for the Hall of Fame. He loves the Lord, is a great family man, great coach and has influenced so many people across the country."
He was your coach and your teammate. Did you two have a unique relationship because of that?
"It was great. Tony knew that although we were older than him, we respected him because he was a very intelligent person. We knew that Tony was not going to put us in a bad situation in our defense. Sometimes you get a call from the huddle from the defensive coordinator and think this is not going to work. We knew with Tony we were never in a bad position. All we had to do was get the call and make the play as a defensive back."
Did it help too that you were close friends?**
"That helped a great deal. If I had some suggestions I wouldn't say it in a meeting but would call him off to the side. I would tell him you are the coach, it's just a suggestion. He would think about it and tell us it's a good suggestion. He has a unique personality that he is easy to talk to."
How proud are you that he is entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame?"Very proud. Tony had to persevere. Because of his low key personality a lot of people in the National Football League thought he wouldn't make a good coach. A coach is a teacher. You have to be able to teach and motivate by teaching. Tony Dungy is one of the greatest coaches I have been around. He is one of the greatest halftime adjusters ever in the National Football League."
Tony, along with many others, feel you too should be in the Hall of Fame. What does it mean to you to know those feelings exist?"It makes me feel good and special. It makes me say they appreciate my career and what I accomplished. The writing is on the wall. It's done. I don't have any more games to play. All they can do is look back at my career and judge it from there."