Walt Michaels, a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and former Jets head coach who was a key decision in a single of skilled soccer’s largest upsets, died Wednesday, his daughter confirmed (by means of the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader). He was 89.
Michaels, who carried out 11 seasons throughout the NFL, grew to turn into a coach after his retirement as a participant and was the Jets’ defensive coordinator of their attractive victory over the Colts in Super Bowl 3, the first time the AFL defeated the NFL throughout the youthful championship.
His safety held the 13-1 Colts to a lone touchdown in what grew to turn into a 16-7 victory for Joe Namath and the Jets, who entered the game as 18-point underdogs.
Michaels’ defenses – as a coordinator and later the Jets’ head coach – had been a reflection of the particular person himself.
“His work ethic did come from this area,” talked about his daughter, Mary Ann. “My father understood what hard work was. He never missed work – any sick days and no personal days. He never forgot his roots.”
Teammates and players alike revered that in Michaels.
He spent most of his collaborating within the occupation with the Browns and was half of two NFL championship teams with Cleveland, which made it to the NFL title sport 5 events all through his stint with the employees.
Michaels left the Jets to grow to be the Eagles’ defensive coordinator sooner than returning in 1976 to New York, the place he was promoted to go coach the following yr.
In six seasons as a result of the Jets coach, he went 39-47-1 and presided over a “Gang Green” employees whose line of protection grew to fame as “the New York Sack Exchange.”
During his tenure, the Jets superior to the AFC championship one time, after the strike-shortened 1982 widespread season. New York suffered a controversial loss to the Dolphins, 14-0, in a sport dubbed “The Mud Bowl.”
The controversy sprung from the reality that the Dolphins in no way lined the Orange Bowl topic all through a 72-hour rainstorm that hit Miami ahead of the game. Field circumstances restricted Jets star working once more Freeman McNeil and put the offensive onus on inconsistent quarterback Richard Todd as New York was held scoreless.
Nearly 4 a few years later, the Jets keep winless in AFC championships (0-4) and haven’t reached a Super Bowl since their historic win in January 1969. Ironically, Don Shula was the Colts coach in that sport, and later as a result of the Dolphins coach he’s the particular person Michaels blamed for the sloppy circumstances in Miami throughout the ill-fated AFC title sport.
“Walt never wavered in his belief that Don Shula was responsible for the uncovered field,” longtime Jets beat writer Rich Cimini tweeted throughout the wake of Michaels’ loss of life.
That turned out to be Michaels’ final sport with the Jets; he resigned under pressure a short time after the loss.
He would go on to coach the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in 1984 and ’85, going 25-11 in two seasons.