Air Coryell passes and Deuce’s day

Posted by Darren Urban on July 1, 2010 – 8:13 pm

A couple of links here before we (OK, I) begin a four-day holiday weekend:

— Former Cardinals coach Don Coryell, the most successful coach in modern Cardinals’ history before Ken Whisenhunt, passed away Thursday at the age of 85. The San Diego Tribune did a great story on Coryell, who will be better known for the aerial attack he put together for the Chargers in the early 1980s. But those Cardinals’ teams everyone has referenced the last couple of years — the 1974-76 squads that achieved double-digit wins in a 14-game seasons — were constructed by Coryell. UPDATE: Here is a story about Coryell’s years with the Cardinals.

— Kent Somers has a nice piece on Deuce Lutui becoming a U.S. citizen tomorrow, timely given the controversy this state has seen because of SB 1070. Congrats to Lutui, who has been working on becoming an official citizen since 2001, something his father wanted. Unfortunately, Lutui’s father passed away last season, but Lutui made sure the dream came true. On a side note, Lutui declined comment on both his weight and contract situation.

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19 Responses to “Air Coryell passes and Deuce’s day”

  1. By Fitz4Mtrushmore on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    A sad day for the NFL, his former players, the Big Red & Chargers with the passing of the legendary Coryell. I became of the Redbirds in ’74 during his coaching start despite living my entire life in Dallas. My greatest memories of my beloved Cards are of the teams Don Coryell assembled in St. Lou. He was pure offensive genius & his induction to the NFL HOF is wayyyyyyyy overdue. Thanks for the memories Mr. Coryell & god bless you & your family!!!

  2. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Sad day.
    Before the Cards came to town, all Arizonans had their choice of the litter for favorite teams. Mostly because of their drafting of ASU WR John Jefferson, the proximity, the cool Lightning Bolt insignia and the autographed team photo and stickers, Air Coryell was “my team”. JJ, Fouts, Winslow, Joiner, Muncie,Chandler, James,etc were an offensive juggernaut, but the defense was always been a problem for Coryell’s teams. Which supposedly is the reason he not in the HOF. He SHOULD be in as an head coach/innovator much the same as Mike Ditka was a player/coach.
    His coaching tree included Joe Gibbs and John Madden(on his Aztec team) down to Ernie Zampese who tutored Norv Turner and Mike Martz, who had some success with this Kurt Warner guy.
    He developed the HBack , the multidimensional RB who could block, run and catch with Terry Metcalfe and moved a longer , leaner TE( first with STL’s Jackie Smith then Winslow) far outside to take advantage of DBs crowding the line.
    The man is a definite Hall of famer in this writer’s eye and I cherish the childhood memories he and his team provided me. I hope he at least goes in posthumously.

  3. By DRC#1FAN on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    nice AndyStandsUp that was an awesome addition to the piece. I like it. I am younger than the era of this coach. but I am already downlaoding film as we speak.

  4. By Mark Collins on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Don Coryell passing is indeed a very sad day for all Big Red Fans! We all remember those Cardinal teams of the 70’s with Jim Hart, Terry Metcalf, and Mel Gray, and the aireal assault the Cardinals had. Those three solid years ( two eastern division champinships), and a 31-11 record, where impressive! Thanks for all the memories, and all of my highlights films (73-77), and “game of the weeks” featuring those teams.
    Rest in Peace Don!!

  5. By brad oneill on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    its a shame that Don Coryell wasn’t inducted in the hall of fame when he got so close last year. you would think a coach that literally changed the game with his innovations would have been a shoe in. RIP Mr. Coryell football just got a whole lot more exciting in heaven.

  6. By Don't Take Losses on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren: Interesting comments from Razzano re Leinart’s preparation. Whiz doesn’t pull many punches so that must have been “cleaned up” by Matt, no?

  7. By darrenurban on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Don’t Take —

    Well, it’s probably important to remember Razzano has been gone since just after the 2009 draft. I’d hope Leinart has improved since then. Again, I find it hard to believe Matt would be getting this chance if the coaches didn’t have any faith he could pull it off.

  8. By kingdiamond on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Coming from St. Louis and watching games in the old Busch Stadium, it was exciting to watch Don’s teams. While the team had modest success in the 1960’s, their was a stretch where it was hard to be a Cardinals fan. Then Don came and everything changed. It is much like Whiz now. Watching his pass patterns was amazing and most games were a a nail biter. The fans were sad to see him locked out of his office after his last game and leave town. The franchise suffered without him because of petty issues with ownership and no draft input. I was glad to see Don go back home and continue to win. I only wish he would have won a Superbowl.

  9. By Cards Fan for 42 Years on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    We’ll miss Don Coryell. He was a great coach in St. Louis for the Cardinals.

  10. By William Barry on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Don Coryell was a truly great coach for the cards during the 1974-1976 years. I have a great media guide showing Don with his intensity, drive, and determination, get those great Card’s teams get to a Division Title in 1974 and 75, with Jim Otis, Mel Gray, Jim Hart, Conrad Dobler….I had great pleasure to see an NFL St. Louis Cards game in 1984, in the old Busch Stadium…Ken Whisenhunt and our new cherished team will rise to greater heights in Arizona, ….following in the footsteps of Don Coryell. God Bless!!!

  11. By TBru on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply

    Rest in peace Coach
    Congrats Deuce

  12. By dan on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply

    Always liked Coryell, he looked like that dude in that movie Beastmaster.

  13. By Scott H on Jul 4, 2010 | Reply

    Sad to hear about Coryell. He was the coach when I became a fan of the Cardinals. Unfortuantely, I latched on right AFTER their run of NFC East crowns in the mid 70’s…and it was a loooooong time before they even got back to the playoffs, that’s for sure. That is why I think long-time Cardinal fans are truly the definition of dedicated. Anyway…RIP, Don.

    PS – If Duece doesn’t play well this year, can we revoke his citizenship and deport him?

  14. By card62 on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    Don Coryell was a great coach and offensive mastermind. How great was he? Before Whiz he was the only coach I have known with the Cardinals to have winning records, and if memory serves me correctly we fired him after going 7-7 or 8-8 his last year.

    Darren please correct me if I am wrong. I was in my teens when we fired him and I remained a Cardinal fan, but an angry fan especially at Bill Bidwell and the organization for many years as we could not even play 500 ball and Coryell was doing great things with the Chargers.

    Cardinal fans please remember Coryell and the fact that winning is a gift so if Whiz has a bad year or two that we also do not run him off for like Coryell Whiz can coach and I hope he is with us for many years.

    Go Cards!.

  15. By darrenurban on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    Card62 —

    That’s before my time to be honest, but off the top of my head, you are right, his departure was surprising and Coryell did do great things in San Diego while the Cards struggled.

  16. By MIKEFLORIO on Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

    you tarnish this website with racism and ignorance thanks!!!!! no wonder why AZ has become a place to love leaving than a state that produces any significant championship teams.

  17. By Scott H on Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

    MikeFlorio –
    First, it’s best to keep quiet and let people think you may be an idiot than to open your mouth and prove them right. Second, when you’re ready to man-up and stop using a false name, let me know. Until then, you’re pretty much just a mosquito to us…mildly annoying but not really worth paying much attention to.

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