PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Pittsburgh Steeler Jon Kolb was number 55, Sam Davis was number 57.
The two offensive lineman played together during the 1970’s dynasty years.
“Yeah, I shed some tears and I’m OK with that, I think that’s part of being a man,” said Kolb. “We played side-by-side, this far apart for 10 years. We were roommates for 10 years and we were roommates in training camp so I spent 20 hours a day with Sam, 10 months a year.”
Sam Davis was found dead at the bottom of the steps of his apartment at the New Life Care Personal Home in McKeesport.
Police say his family had become concerned just before 7:00 Tuesday morning when they were told he had not come down for breakfast and to take his medication.
He was found some 14 hours later.
Davis had dementia was legally blind, but he was still a fixture in the McKeesport community. He could be seen walking every morning and everyone knew who he was.
Kolb says he would often visit his friend but he recent years Davis did not recognize him. All that remains now are the memories, like how Davis got the nickname “Riggy.”
“He had pulled a hamstring and he was stiff on the ground and the coach said when we saw the film what happened Sam did you get a Rigamortus,” Kolb recalled.
Kolb also recalls the time Davis was injured and Craig Wolfley took his place.
“Because of Sam, we had reduced our communication to an Archie Bunker grunt system,” Kolb said. “So when Craig Wolfley comes in and is making the actual calls I don’t recognize them because we had not made them in 10 years we would just ‘grunt grunt grunt,’ yeah.”
Kolb says what stands out in his mind most is Davis’s family’s devotion to him.
“Sam’s Family stood with him, his wife Tammy and his kids stayed with him all this time, never wavered,” he said.
The Steelers Organization sent this statement:
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sam Davis. He played 13 seasons and was beloved and respected by his Steelers teammates, coaches and staff. Our prayers go out to the entire Davis family during this difficult time.”