STATEMENT FROM PEYTON MANNING ON DON SHULA (5/4/20)
"First off, my thoughts and condolences go out to the entire Shula family — His wife, Mary Anne; David Shula, who works our football camp every year and we know very well; And of course Mike Shula, who coached Eli. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.
"I had a chance to visit with Coach Shula when we filmed an episode for the NFL's 100th year celebration on the Peyton's Places show. I was able to sit down and have lunch with him and several of his players on that '72 undefeated season. Just to see the love and respect that his players had for Coach Shula was very special to witness. To hear Bob Griese talk about him and Larry Csonka talk about him, and Larry Little… Just the reverence, the respect and the love — I think that every player would like to have that kind of relationship with one of their coaches. You can tell that these players especially had that relationship with Coach Shula. I know he felt the same about them.
"It wasn't just those players. I used to hear Dan Marino talk about Coach Shula all of the time and what a father figure he was for him as well along with his own dad. Drafting Dan in 1983 and just being a mentor and giving him the freedom to call his own plays and to play quarterback the way Dan Marino could. Coach Shula had a big impact on him. It was just an honor to witness that and to hear players talk about their coach in that way. I think that's the ultimate compliment to any coach.
"I just remember Coach Dungy talking about Coach Shula. Coach Dungy played for Chuck Noll. Chuck Noll played for Paul Brown. Coach Shula played for Paul Brown, so Coach Shula and the coaching tree spreads wide. I can remember Coach Dungy talking about Don Shula and some of his coaching philosophies. In a lot of ways, Coach Shula coached more than just his players.
"Coach Shula's philosophies and his coaching methods spread far and wide. He will be missed. His impact on the NFL and so many players is unmatched and legendary. May he rest in peace."