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Bradshaw learned to be ‘mentally tough’ from Noll; soccer nearly was calling for Giants’ rookie

Posted Jun 16, 2014

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Chuck Noll, Odell Beckham, Jr.

Terry Bradshaw experienced a tremendous culture shock when Chuck Noll became the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Gone was all of the praise and “pats on the back” he had experienced in college. Noll brought a far more demanding approach that took some getting used to for Bradshaw and other Steeler players back in the early 1970s.

“I had to go through all the developments emotionally of how to deal with it,” Bradshaw said in quotes distributed by the Steelers in the wake of Noll’s passing Friday at the age of 82.

The Pro-Football-Hall-of-Famer was a former offensive guard for the Cleveland Browns. He was considered tough as a player, but even tougher as a coach.

“He was a tough coach to me, and I spent more time with him than anybody, so I know,” Bradshaw said. “I learned how to be mentally tough with him, and for that I can never say thank you enough, because that got me through divorces, Super Bowls, and those times when I had bad moments in big games.

“He made me mentally strong, which I wasn’t. And he instilled in me a great work ethic. I had a good work ethic, but preparation was paramount with him, so we spent a lot of time going through preparations for the games. He was an amazing guy. I watched him more than he watched me. I had a great amount of fear for him. He’s kind of like a father from whom you want approval and you don’t quite get it, and in the advent of that journey you work harder and harder, you try to get better and better, and then when it’s all said and done he says, ‘Thank you. You were a great quarterback.’

“And you say, ‘Wow!’”

DRAMATIC CHANGES COULD BE COMING TO NFL TV COVERAGE AFTER 2022

The current model of network-television coverage of NFL games could change significantly after 2022, when the current broadcast-rights deals are due to expire.

“Clearly when we get to the end of this deal, what has been our traditional television deals I’m sure will change in their form and format,” New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, who co-chairs the NFL’s digital media committee and whose father, Pats owner Robert Kraft, chairs the league’s broadcasting committee, was quoted as saying in the Boston Globe. “I think the way (games are) distributed and the way you access them, by definition, will be different, and we will definitely evolve with the consumer.

“And between now and then we’ll be doing a lot of experimenting so we know exactly what our consumers want.”

ODELL BECKHAM, JR. WATCHING WORLD CUP WITH ELEVATED INTERST

Odell Beckham, Jr. doesn’t watch World Cup soccer as a casual spectator.

The New York Giants’ rookie wide receiver has the perspective of someone who could very well have been playing in the tournament as a member of the U.S. national team, for which he was offered a tryout as a teenager.

“I played seriously until I was about 13 or 14 (and) then the (U.S.) national team wanted me to try out for it,” Beckham, the Giants’ first-round draft pick from LSU, was quoted as saying in the Newark Star-Ledger. “It’s just so much for a young kid to have to decide that. You’d have to leave your family. But I always played in the premiere leagues. I was 11 playing U-14, stuff like that. I was always playing up. …

“Soccer was my first love so whenever I think back on those moments, I think of what could have been. If it wasn’t in God’s plans, it wasn’t in God’s plans.”

ANDRE ROBERTS LOOKS FOR NEW OPPORTUNITY WITH REDSKINS AS RETURNER

Andre Roberts thought he might be moving up the depth chart when he left the Arizona Cardinals, for whom he had been a No. 3 receiver, to join the Washington Redskins, who had only had one clear No. 1 in Pierre Garcon, as a free agent.

That obviously all changed once the Redskins acquired DeSean Jackson after his release from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, Roberts is back to the No. 3 spot, which means he needs to find other ways to make an impact. And one of those ways is as a returner.

“(Special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica) has me doing punts and kicks right now,” Roberts was quoted as saying on CSNWashington.com. “I would like to be the kick returner and the punt returner but, you know, everybody doesn’t get what they want. Preferably, probably kick returner.”

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