PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)-Former Steelers Hall of Famer Jack Ham joined “The Cook and Poni Show” on Monday to remember the legendary former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll, who passed away Friday at the age of 82.
“Just to reflect back and look how he took over the franchise and how he did it his way. He didn’t waver one bit even though he went 1-13 in his first season,” Ham said. “I’m not sure in today’s day and age if he is still coaching a football team after that, but the Steelers stayed with him and he built this team through the draft.”
Ham said that he had a plan and the Steelers and the fans were rewarded for being patient and letting him build this team.
Ham said Noll was a great teacher of the game and always had his team ready to play.
“We always felt we were prepared for a game we were going to play and we always felt we had an edge, not because of the players, but because maybe our coach was smarter than the guy across the field,” Ham said.
He also said Noll was always willing to give his time to those who were wanting to learn the game. He loved training camp more than anything because he was able to be a teacher. Ham said he witnessed him teaching guys at camp who he knew Noll was going to cut in the next few days.
Ham says that Noll always had a presence about him and the players always knew where he was on the field and he commanded their respect.
For the Steeler fans Noll was the face of a tough hard-nosed team that mirrored the city. He gave them something to cheer about when times were tough in Pittsburgh.
Ham said his greatest team though may have been the 1976 team that was hit by injuries. He said it was the greatest team not to win a Super Bowl.
Noll was a a lover of many things outside of football. He taught Ham a wonderful lesson that football was part of your life, but it wasn’t the only thing in your life.
Ham said Noll had a great life and he will be missed.