Tunch was talking to Hines Ward on the WDVE “Hines Ward” radio show a couple weeks ago. One of the most compelling stories Hines shared was the reason why the Carolina Panthers fought so hard in their Thursday night game at Heinz Field against the Steelers despite a lousy season and with the thought of being home for Christmas coming up.
Hines congratulated a Carolina defensive player (who will go un-named) for his defense’s tough play throughout the game when they had nothing to play for. Though the Carolina D was unsuccessful at stopping the Steelers, they fought bitterly hard throughout the game.
The Carolina player said that then head coach John Fox called a meeting before the game with the Steelers and told them that while he (Fox) wasn’t going to be the Carolina coach next year, he would be coaching somewhere in the league. And that it was a small league.
Foxy went on to warn them that if anybody laid down and quit, or didn’t give their best effort, Fox would let everybody know.
Fear of losing your job was a constant in the days of Chuck Noll. Ahead or behind, good season or bad, there was only one way to play the game for Coach Noll. With everything you got.
John Fox was an assisstant coach with the Steelers my last year here in the’burgh. John talks of learning a great deal from Chuck. Fear of losing a job and gaining a bad rap of being a “bad effort” guy when on the open market is a good way to get a player’s attention.
Well done John Fox.