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NFL Legends Present HOF Case for Don Coryell


Career regular-season won-loss record of 111-83-1 (42-27-1 in St. Louis and 69-56 in San Diego)

Six seasons with 10 or more regular-season wins

Two-time NFC East Champion (St. Louis, 1974-75) and three-time AFC West Champion (San Diego, 1979-81)

Led NFL in total yards per game in 1980 (413.8), 1981 (429.9), 1982 (460.2) and 1985 (427.5)

Led NFL in total touchdowns scored in 1981 (60), 1982 (34) and 1985 (57)

Second in NFL in total yards per game in 1983 (401.7) and third in 1984 (411.4)

Led NFL in scrimmage yards per game (398.4) and touchdowns (416) during tenure in San Diego (1978-86)

Led NFL in passing yards per game (287.4) and second in touchdown passes (243) during tenure in San Diego

Led NFL in points per game (25.6) during tenure in San Diego


HOF Coach DON SHULA – "He was one of the great coaches who had a major influence in developing and opening up the passing attack in the NFL. Back then most teams emphasized the running game, with only occasional passes, but he was way ahead of his time and took the sport to the next level by making the passing game his team's strength. He had a perfect quarterback in Dan Fouts to run his offense, and they changed the way the game was played."

HOF Coach JOHN MADDEN – "Joe Gibbs, Dan Fouts (and me), the three of us are in the Hall of Fame because of Don Coryell."

HOF Coach JOE GIBBS – "Don was an innovator on offense and pioneered the way for an explosive passing game in our League. He had success at all levels of coaching. He was a football genius in the way he structured the terminology for calling plays and coached many Pro Bowl players in his career. His influence on the game has been great and his coaching tree developed a number of coaches that went on to be included in the Hall of Fame. Obviously I am one of those that developed under his tutelage. He was a great coach and the greatest testimony to that is what his players all thought about him. The loyalty they all had. His passion for the game was unmatched."

HOF Coach TOM LANDRY – "When he went to St. Louis, he was far ahead of everybody as far as what they did with the ball.  When he went to San Diego, he was one of the fi rst real forerunners of the passing game we see today."

HOF Quarterback DAN FOUTS – "Don Coryell has earned his place in Canton. First and foremost, I would not be in the Hall of Fame had it not been for my nine years as Don's quarterback with the Chargers. It was Coryell – with his revolutionary vision, his unique style of leadership and his successful implementation of the most innovative offense the NFL had ever witnessed – that led me and my teammates, Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner, to the steps of the Hall of Fame. I feel strongly that induction into the Hall of Fame should be based primarily on one's contribution to this great game and continuing influence that is felt as the game is played today. All you have to do is review the careers of Hall of Fame coaches, such as John Madden, Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs, and see who provided them with the inspiration and innovation that led to their own Hall of Fame careers. Super Bowl coaches like Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz, and the great offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese would concur that the 'Air Coryell' offense contributed a great deal to their own success."

HOF Tight End KELLEN WINSLOW – *"Coach Coryell deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it's a shame that he is not. So many offenses that are being run today are variations of Air Coryell. He deserves to be there just as much as anybody else; any other coach who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.' *

HOF Wide Receiver CHARLIE JOINER – "Don changed the game of football as we know it. He had an impact on both sides of the ball with his innovative and ground-breaking offenses. One only needs to look back to see how offenses have developed since he came into the league. His explosive passing game changed the face of defenses. Opposing teams had to bring in extra DBs to try and slow down his passing offense, resulting in the 'nickel defense' and the 'dime defense.'  Somebody who impacted the game like that should be in the Hall of Fame."

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