Class of 2005 Quotes

General Published on : 1/1/2005

Benny Friedman

“Benny Friedman, the old Michigan All-America, was the first pro quarterback to recognize the potentialities of the pass….he demonstrated that the pass could be mixed with running plays consistently and effectively.” - George Halas, legendary Hall of Famer

“They had a million ideas about winning the game, but not a darn man to stop Friedman’s passes.  In this, however, they are just like the other teams of their league and a lot of college teams Friedman has played against.” George Strickler, Chicago Herald-Examiner, Nov. 28, 1927

“He verified all the testimonials which have been written concerning his elusiveness.” Bill Slocum, New York American, Nov. 12, 1928

“No other passer has his accuracy, his judgment of distance, his intuiative ability to pick out the best receiver.” Paul Gallico, sportswriter

Dan Marino

“No other athlete is more synonymous with South Florida sports than Dan Marino.  He was, without a doubt, one of the greatest passers and toughest competitors in the history of the NFL.  Dan combined a fiery will to win with an unmatched ability to take charge at the most critical juncture.  He also is admired as much for his person integrity and charitable involvement in South Florida.” - Paul Tagliabue, National Football League Commissioner

“Dan brought an excitement to the quarterback position, even during practice, and especially during the last two minutes of games, when be brought us back to win more times than I can count.  Whether it was the clock play against the Jets or any of his other great comeback wins, I always had the feeling that with Dan at quarterback, we were never out of the game, no matter what the score. - Don Shula, Hall of Fame coach

“Dan was one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the position.  His legacy will be forever etched in the minds of Dolphin fans and his records speak for themselves.  I am proud to call him my friend and to be forever linked to him through the Class of ’83.” - John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback

“Everyone can see his release and his arm, but to me the greatest part was he has the guts to go along with all the natural stuff.” - Mark Ingram, former Miami Dolphins receiver

Fritz Pollard

I think it (his election to the Hall) was the historical significance of being the first black player and the first black coach.  I look at him as a player, a coach, and a contributor.  I think he did all three.” - Don Pierson, sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune and a member of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Selectors

“He was just as important as George Halas and some of the other people.  When you read the history, he was right there, a major part of everything that was going on.” - Dr. Steven Towns, grandson of Fritz Pollard

“Even in Akron, at his home-team stadium, they had to bring him on the field just before the game started so he wouldn’t get hurt, then have a bodyguard there to protect him. . .He showed a sense of bravery that’s hard for people today to relate to.” - John Carroll, author of Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Advancement

“I’m not the first.  Fritz Pollard was the first.” - Art Shell, in 1989, after he became the first African-American head coach of pro football’s modern-era.

“I think it’s because I kept my sense of humor.  I just got along.  I took it – and bounced back for more.  And scoring touchdowns won a lot of the southern players over to my side.” - Fritz Pollard, during a 1970s interview, on how he combated bigotry.

Steve Young

"Obviously, Steve Young was one of the great quarterbacks to ever play the game. In fact, he may have been the greatest running and passing combination to play the position in the history of the NFL."  - George Seifert, former NFL head coach

"Most great athletes don't learn how to play quarterback. He is the first one that I saw that conquered it. He learned how to play properly and became great at it. And when being a quarterback wasn't enough, he relied on his athletic ability."  - Phil Simms, former New York Giants quarterback and current broadcaster

"Steve played for 15 seasons and was always at the top of his game. Many players aspire to have a career like Steve, but only a few accomplish it." - Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts quarterback

“For the record, I can still play.  But, I was able to step away and not worry about the immediate circumstances.  I made all the arguments with myself.  And, I do this with really a lot of joy and with the thought of looking forward.” - Steve Young at a press conference announcing his retirement