While we all mourn the passing of Don Coryell, I am hopeful that we will reflect on his career, and legacy, with new eyes.
Much of what we see teams do offensively in the NFL today, Coryell was teaching and preaching while at San Diego State and in the professional ranks.
Spread the field? Coryell. Create mismatches through the use of personnel? Coryell. Designing complementary route trees that allowed the quarterback to locate receivers on the same sight line at varying depths? Coryell. All Coryell.
One of my favorite NFL Films pieces shows Coryell saying (and this is paraphrased) that his goal, every game, was “to make the defense defend every foot on the field, both length and width.”
Coach, thanks to you, that goal is still being sought today, and defenses will curse you forever!
Take your rest, Coach. You’ve earned it.
— Charles Davis